About this book we are told:
John Chryssavgis explores the ascetic teaching and theology of St John Climacus, a classical and formative writer of the Christian medieval East, and the author of the seventh-century Ladder of Divine Ascent. This text proved to be the most widely used handbook of the spiritual life in the Christian East, partly because of its unique and striking symbol of the ladder that binds together the whole book. It has caught the attention of numerous readers in East and West alike through the ages and is a veritable classic of medieval spirituality, whose popularity in the East equals that of The Imitation of Christ in the West. Chryssavgis follows the development and influence of earlier desert literature, from Egypt through Palestine into Sinai, and includes a discussion of the theology of tears, the concept of unceasing prayer, as well as the monastic principles of hesychia (silence) and eros (love).