The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism
The growing scholarly attention in recent years to the religious world of late antiquity has focused new attention on the quest for holiness by the strange, compelling, often obscure early Christian monks known as the desert fathers. Yet until now, little attention has been given to one of the most vital dimensions of their spirituality: their astute, penetrating interpretation of Scripture. Rooted in solitude, cultivated in an atmosphere of silence, oriented toward the practical appropriation of the sacred texts, the desert fathers' hermeneutic profoundly shaped every aspect of their lives and became a significant part of their legacy. This book explores the setting within which the early monastic movement emerged, the interpretive process at the center of the desert fathers' quest for holiness, and the intricate patterns of meaning woven into their words and their lives.
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Abba John Abba Poemen Agathon Ammonas anchorites anger Antony Apophthegmata Patrum Arsenius ascetical asceticism attitude Bible biblical texts brother Cassian cell cenobitic century Christ commandment Cronius culture demons desert fathers desert hermeneutic desert monks disciples E. R. Dodds early Christian early Egyptian early monastic Egypt Egyptian Christianity elders Epiphanius eremetical Evagrius exemplars experience expression freedom gnosticism God’s Gospel Greek heart hermeneutic Historia Lausiaca humility important influence interpretation Jesus John Colobos kind language late antiquity living Macarius meaning meditation monasticism movement one’s oneself oral pagan Pambo particular penthos person philosophical Plotinus practice prayer Press psalms quest for holiness questions realized recitation reflect Regnault renunciation response reveals Sablé-sur-Sarthe sacred texts salvation Sayings Scetis Scripture seen sense silence Sisoes someone soul speak spiritual story suggests synaxis Testament Theodore of Pherme things thoughts tion told tradition trans understanding Vita words of Scripture
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