The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century

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New Directions Publishing, 1970 - Philosophy - 81 pages
44 Reviews
The personal tones of the translations, the blend of reverence and humor so characteristic of him, show how deeply Merton identified with the legendary authors of these sayings and parables, the fourth-century Christian Fathers who sought solitude and contemplation in the deserts of the Near East. The hermits of Screte who turned their backs on a corrupt society remarkably like our own had much in common with the Zen masters of China and Japan, and Father Merton made his selection from them with an eye to the kind of impact produced by the Zen mondo.
  

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Review: The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century

User Review  - Fred Kohn - Goodreads

A nice collection of mostly pithy and a few not so pithy sayings of the Desert Fathers that would be useful in the library of a spiritual seeker of any religion. The introduction by Merton was good but not great, and necessary to read I think before diving into the main material. Read full review

Review: The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century

User Review  - Beth - Goodreads

A large selection. Detailed preface with historical background. Read full review

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About the author (1970)

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) entered the Cistercian Abbey ofGethsemani in Kentucky, following his conversion to Catholicism and wasordained Father M. Louis in 1949. During the 1960s, he was increasinglydrawn into a dialogue between Eastern and Western religions and domesticissues of war and racism. In 1968, the Dalai Lama praised Merton forhaving a more profound knowledge of Buddhism than any other Christian hehad known. Thomas Merton is the author of the beloved classic TheSeven Storey Mountain.

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