Johannes Climacus in Pop-References
The Path (TV, US, 2016-) talks about a “Ladder”
Johannes Climacus was one of Søren Kierkegaard’s pen names. But it was also taken from a real person.
Kierkegaard took this name from a Greek monk (c. 570–649) who was the abbot of Saint Catherine’s of Alexandria on Mt. Sinai. He was the author of the work Klimax tou Paradeisou (translated into Latin as Scala Paradisi), or Ladder of Paradise (Klimax being the Greek for ladder).
Ladder of Paradise, incidentally, was the first book to be printed in the New World, translated into Spanish (Mexico, 1532). Climacus’ work was written for a monastic audience. He says that no one should attempt the contemplative life without first warring against and subduing the passions. The ladder is thus a series of thirty steps which ultimately lead to impassibility and imperturbability, not entirely unlike the ataraxia of the Epicureans, except that Epicureans seek to escape the troubles of the world for quiet contemplative pleasure while Climacus strove for the heavenly vision. As The Imitation of Christ is one of the most popular devotional works outside of the Bible in the West, the Ladder has long achieved the same importance in the East. It is read every Lent in Orthodox monasteries, and is appointed to be read aloud in church or in the refectory. — William McDonald.