The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

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Penguin Books Limited, Mar 27, 2003 - Religion - 201 pages
2 Reviews
The Desert Fathers were the first Christian monks, living in solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. In contrast to the formalized and official theology of the "founding fathers" of the Church, they were ordinary Christians who chose to renounce the world and live lives of celibacy, fasting, vigil, prayer, and poverty in direct and simple response to the gospel. First recorded in the fourth century, their Sayings consisting of spiritual advice, anecdotes, parables, and reflections on life influenced the rule of St. Benedict, set the pattern for Western monasticism, and have inspired centuries of poetry, opera, and art.
Organized around key themes Charity, Fortitude, Lust, Patience, Prayer, Self-control, and Visions this edition of the Sayings is fresh, accessible, and authoritative.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators."

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User Review  - davidpwithun - LibraryThing

Of course the sayings of the Desert Fathers are great. I couldn't have enjoyed reading them more and I certainly was edified along the way many times over. My reason for rating this book at 3 stars is ... Read full review

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User Review  - ireneadler - LibraryThing

A classic, and great translation by authority Benedicta Ward. Highly recommended Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Benedicta Ward is a reader in the history of early Christian spirituality at the Theology Faculty in Oxford. She has translated The Prayers and Meditations of St. Anselm for Penguin Classics.


Benedicta Ward is a reader in the history of early Christian spirituality at the Theology Faculty in Oxford. She has translated The Prayers and Meditations of St. Anselm for Penguin Classics.

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