John Climacus on Discernment and Spiritual Perception



Abstract: The paper explores a connection between discernment and spiritual perception. The discussion proceeds in four main steps. First, discernment as a practice underlying most Christian practices is introduced. Second, a distinction is made between judgment and perception, and it is argued that discernment involves both. Third, the concept of spiritual perception is introduced and the models of such perception are briefly discussed. Finally, drawing on John Climacus’ Ladder of Divine Ascent, a connection is established between discernment and spiritual perception.


Keywords: Spiritual Perception, John Climacus, Discernment, Judgment