Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: Thirty Steps to Heaven – The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life

Whilst studying Theology I was told by my peers and my professors that we should all strive to have a good library at home. Since then I have endeavoured to achieve this. It seems now that my library has become richer with this new book, written by Fr. Vassilios Papavassiliou, entitled Thirty Steps to Heaven – The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life. 

The book examines and explains The Ladder of Divine Ascent, written by St. John Climacus (St. John of the Ladder). Despite being written by a monk for monks, it has been a popular book within a number of Orthodox circles. However, due to this characteristic, it has remained unknown to the vast majority of the Orthodox faithful. Nevertheless, Fr. Vassilios attempts and achieves to bring it closer to the general public, to the whole Body of the Church. He does this by giving examples from daily life, he even gives examples from Star Wars and Harry Potter, attracting thus not only a small group of people, but all ages, who come from different backgrounds. The author also confesses his own feelings and beliefs (for example in step 18), showing that all of us live through the struggle of life, attempting to reach the thirtieth step of this ladder.
This book is to be read by all in such a manner, whereby we see ourselves when examining the issues examined. When St. John studies for example gluttony or lust we can identify our flaws. By making it a personal issue, we will better ourselves, following the solutions and advices given by him. I have read this book once; but, I feel that, in order to fully comprehend the riches of the meanings expressed in it, I will have to read it many times, discovering new meanings and qualities each time.     


  1. Dear Demetris

    Do you have Olivier Clement's Roots of Christian Mysticism in your library?(http://www.amazon.co.uk/Roots-Christian-Mysticism-Patristic-Commentary/dp/1905039190/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401198563&sr=1-1&keywords=Olivier+Clement). If not I recommend it.

    Regards David

  2. I don't. Thank you for the recommendation..!

  3. Why should he use harry potter in his book. I don't think this is correct. He should of used a spiritual father as an example.