By Douglas Burton-Christie

ISBN-10: 0195066146

ISBN-13: 9780195066142

ISBN-10: 0195083334

ISBN-13: 9780195083330

The starting to be scholarly cognizance in recent times to the spiritual international of overdue antiquity has concentrated new cognizance at the quest for holiness by way of the unusual, compelling, frequently imprecise early Christian clergymen referred to as the barren region fathers. but before, little awareness has been given to 1 of the main very important dimensions in their spirituality: their astute, penetrating interpretation of Scripture. Rooted in solitude, cultivated in an environment of silence, orientated towards the sensible appropriation of the sacred texts, the barren region fathers' hermeneutic profoundly formed each element in their lives and have become an important a part of their legacy. This ebook explores the environment during which the early monastic stream emerged, the interpretive approach on the middle of the wasteland fathers' quest for holiness, and the difficult styles of that means woven into their phrases and their lives.

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

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40 The growing consensus on this issue suggests that primitive monasticism cannot adequately be understood apart from a consideration of the place of Scripture in its formation and ongoing life. However, in spite of the increased clarity regarding Scripture's role, we still do not have a completely satisfying portrait of this aspect of the early monastic world. This is due in part to the fact that the discussion and analysis of the issue thus far has been, for very good reasons, introductory, exploratory, and fragmentary.

Desert fathers" is a traditional term, and it is for the most part descriptively accurate of the early desert movement: desert monasticism was, after all, a predominantly male movement. Still there were women in the desert, some important and influential, known as "ammas" and who are sometimes referred to as desert mothers. Yet the attempt to balance traditional nomenclature, historical accuracy, and contemporary sensibilities regarding gender presents real difficulties. For instance, more "inclusive" terms, such as "desert Christians" or "desert fathers and mothers," have their own problems.

322 Dodds' criticism of monasticism, while less fierce than Gibbon's, nevertheless reveals a similar perception of the early monks: they had given into the forces of the irrational and had squandered the gifts of ancient civilization. A different kind of complaint arose from within the Christian tradition itself: early monasticism was unbiblical. This criticism has endured, influencing the negative perception of early monasticism within much of Christianity and assessments of early monasticism by certain modern and contemporary scholars.

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The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism by Douglas Burton-Christie


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