The purpose of this paper is to bring into conversation the understanding of anger in the writings of the Evagrian tradition and the school of John Cassian, on the one hand, and the Mahāyāna discourse on anger that is exemplified in the writings of Śāntideva, on the other hand. Evagrios's and Cassian's reflection on emotions and their role in the monastic life are grounded in the Philokalic tradition of Eastern Christianity, while also drawing on the Stoic understanding of the inner life and the Neo-Platonic tripartite notion of the self as comprising a higher nous (intellect) and a lower set of passions bridging the gap between the mind and the body. The Mahāyāna understanding of the emotions, for its part, is geared toward the achievement of active nirvāna, where practitioners can finally discern the fundamental identity between the samsaric and the nirvanic character of our attachments. This paper will uncover a variety of points of contacts between the two traditions, both of which envisage anger as an obstacle preventing communion with God or the achievement of liberation. At the same time, this reading of texts from the two traditions will also highlight their irreducible differences, as well as their distinctive understanding of subjectivity, soteriology, and ultimate reality.


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pp. 53-66
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