Harlots of the Desert: A Study of Repentance in Early Monastic Sources

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Cistercian Publications, 1987 - Christian biography - 113 pages
Stories of conversion have always attracted mankind's attention, and this was especially so among the monks of the ancient and medieval world. In the literature of fourth-century Egypt, alongside the wise sayings of the Desert Fathers and the stories illustrating their way of life, there are also the accounts of the lives of the harlots, Pelagia, Maria, Tha´s, Mary of Egypt and a number of lesser figures, all of which were copied, translated and retold througout the Middle Ages. This is a commentary on early monastic texts with a discussion of the theme of Christian repentance. The author begins with St. Mary Magdalene, the archetypal penitent, and goes on to examine the desert tradition, concluding each chapter with new translations of those lives which were most influential in the early Church and for countless generations afterwards.

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User Review  - katzenmicd - LibraryThing

The desert mothers and fathers were serious, stark. Their love of God so all-consuming that they shine as examples of how to live, ascetically, yes, but their asceticism doesn’t diminish their example ... Read full review


St Mary Magdalene the Biblical
St Mary of Egypt the Liturgical
Pelagia Beauty Riding By
Tha´s How to Receive a Gift
Maria the Niece of Abraham

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