The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism

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9780195066142: The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism
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This is an investigation of the retreat to the desert and the growth of monasticism in 4th-century AD Egypt, which has been recognized as a significant movement of early Christianity. The text focuses on the ways in which the desert saints interpreted and appropriated the Scripture. Drawing extensively on stories and sayings from the vast body of monastic literature, the author demonstrates that the Scriptures were a primary source of inspiration for the founders of early monasticism, and the shaping force in the development of a new school of holiness in the desert.

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With its extensive notes and bibliography it is a scholarly work which assumes a fairly intimate knowledge of the text on which it is commenting, written by someone in sympathy with the monastic desert tradition, but not of it. Hence it has a certain objectivity of regard, while providing a careful exegesis of the text which can enhance a reading of the Sayings...that it is an excellent contribution towards increasing our understanding of the desert tradition there is no doubt. (Fairacres Chronicle Vol 28 no 2)

The focus of this stimulating book is the growth of monasticism in fourth-century Egypt...The Word in the Desert competently survey s the raison d'etre of Egyptian monasticism and challenges the notion that it was an insignificant minority sect... Stimulating book ... This scholarly work will delight and stimulate all who desire a firmer understanding of ancient asceticism. (Theology)

excellent...The final section considers the realistationof the desert fathers' encounter with the word of scripture in their lives. These are rich pages which will repay rereading...Perhaps the best thing about the book is the way in which it will facilitate reading of the Apophthegmata themselves, by providing a framework in which to understand them (Sobornost)

The focus of this stimulating book is the growth of monasticism in fourth-century Egypt. The Word in the Desert competently surveys the raison d'être of Egyptian monasticism and challenges the notion that it was an insignificant minority sect. This book broadens our understanding in two important areas: it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the history of biblical interpretation, and it also furnishes our general knowledge of early Egyptian monasticism with detailed insights. This scholarly work will delight and stimulate all who desire a firmer understanding of ancient asceticism. (Laurence Kirkpatrick, Theology, May '96)

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9780195083330: The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism

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ISBN 10:  0195083334 ISBN 13:  9780195083330
Publisher: Oxford University Press USA, 1993
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