Seraphim Danckaert is Director of Mission Advancement at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds an M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
There are a variety of kinds of Orthodox Christian monasticism. Some monks live in monasteries with hundreds of fellow monastics; some live in small sketes; others live in extreme isolation as hermits.
Throughout the history of the Church, there have even been a variety of types of hermits who live out their solitude in different kinds of extreme locations: sealed in their cells, locked up in tombs, hidden in a cave in the middle of the desert.
A particularly famous type of hermit is the “stylites” or pillar-dwelling monk. Stylites were particularly popular in late antique Syria, where they exercised great spiritual authority and attracted thousands of pilgrims.
In the Republic of Georgia, a modern-day monk is returning to those ancient practices, living atop the Katskhi Pillar, itself a site of monastic life centuries ago. Check out the YouTube video above, which is an extended clip from a documentary currently seeking full funding before final production. As the description puts it:
In the Republic of Georgia, a monk has been rebuilding an ancient chapel and hermitage atop a 140 foot rock outcrop near the village of Katskhi. He hopes to become the first Stylite there since the Ottoman Turk invasion six hundred years ago. This film is the prologue for “The Stylite”, a feature length project still in development.
More information about the film is available here.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.