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Theoria (Greek Template:Polytonic) is Greek for contemplation (literally, to view or witness something as a spectator). Within Eastern Orthodox theology it refers to a stage of illumination on the path to theosis. It is obtained by means of contemplative prayer resulting from the cultivation of watchfulness (Gk: nepsis) achieved by the pure of heart who are no longer subject to the afflictions of the passions. As it is the stage of theosis where one beholds God. Theoria is given as a gift from the Holy Spirit to those who through observance of the commandments of God and ascetic practices (see praxis, kenosis, Poustinia and schema) have achieved dispassion and clarity of vision.

In its purest form theoria is considered as the 'beholding', 'seeing' or 'vision' of God.

Theoria is associated with the Eastern Orthodox ascetic tradition called hesychasm and plays a central role in the transformative process called theosis, considered (especially by the Eastern Orthodox church) to be the quintessential purpose and goal of Christianity.

See also

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