Read The Desert Fathers by Helen Waddell M. Basil Pennington Online

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By the fourth century A.D., devout Christians--men and women alike--had begun to retreat from cities and villages to the deserts of North Africa and Asia Minor, where they sought liberation from their corrupt society and the confining shell of the social self. The Desert Fathers is the perfect introduction to the stories and sayings of these heroic pioneers of the contemplBy the fourth century A.D., devout Christians--men and women alike--had begun to retreat from cities and villages to the deserts of North Africa and Asia Minor, where they sought liberation from their corrupt society and the confining shell of the social self. The Desert Fathers is the perfect introduction to the stories and sayings of these heroic pioneers of the contemplative tradition. Selected and translated by Helen Waddell, The Desert Fathers opens a window onto early Christianity while presenting us with touchingly human models of faith, humility, and compassion. With a new Preface by the Cistercian monk, writer, and revered teacher of contemplative prayer M. Basil Pennington, author of O Holy Mountain and Challenges in Prayer."God is our home but many of us have strayed from our native land.  The venerable authors of these Spiritual Classics are expert guides--may we follow their directions home."--Archbishop Desmond Tutu...

Title : The Desert Fathers
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ISBN : 9780375700194
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Desert Fathers Reviews

  • Kate
    2018-12-17 07:28

    I read this as an undergrad and grad student, and it's a fascinating look at early monastic life. Some of the desert fathers (and mothers---a few women are included here, but there is a separate volume of writings by early female monastics) are a bit overboard. It's interesting reading, though, as we see adherents of a new faith trying to find their way and learn how to live consistently with the Gospel. This batch of new Christians has retreated from the world, trying to "work out their salvation with fear and trembling" before going out into the wider society. In an era of intense persecution, it makes perfect sense to go into hiding. But is that the point of faith? Though usually approached as a historical resource, this text raises good questions about time spent on personal sanctification versus time spent living into Christ's commands to feed the poor and heal the sick. We're still trying to get that balance right.

  • Jean
    2018-12-14 02:43

    Beautiful prose translations of the Life of Paul, the Lives of the Desert Fathers, the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. I recommend this as an additional read to Benedicta Ward's Lives of the Desert Fathers since the selection of texts is broader.

  • Nicholas Whyte
    2018-12-16 07:34

    http://nhw.livejournal.com/892620.html[return][return]Helen Waddell has selected her favourite bits from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers compiled by Pelagius in the early fourth century, perhaps a third of it, and then added on various other texts, concluding with the Lives of St Pelagia the Harlot and St Mary the Harlot, which are about as exciting as you would expect.[return][return]a fascinating insight into the lives and mentalities of the first Christian monastics - men and women who felt that they must go and live in the desert to get closer to God. There is an uneasy and sometimes consciously very funny tension running through the writings, between on the one hand being deeply devout and determined, and pulling up the other monks who are not trying hard enough; and on the other hand not showing off one's own piety. But at the same time you can't help but be impressed with the seriousness and dedication with which these people tried to develop their understanding of their creator and themselves by cutting themselves off from the world.[return][return]Waddell has written a respectful yet witty introduction to each of the ten pieces, and a longer one for the book of the whole, bemoaning the fact that the reputation of the early Christian monastics has never recovered from being mocked viciously in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. She complains that St Simeon Stylites, who lived on a pillar for thirty years, was not in fact a very important figure in Christian history: "His present reputation, vast as it is, dates largely from the eighteenth century, and balances delicately on a paragraph of Gibbon's prose."

  • Hall's Bookshop
    2018-11-19 07:46

    A meze plate of early Christian hagiographies, with characterful, almost eccentric introductions drawing attention to the wealth of other material available, both translated and untranslated. Often it seems like Hagiographies all sound the same, but this collection also manages to demontrate how varied and suprising they can be. JM

  • Will Brown
    2018-12-10 06:50

    This is an amazing book. The sayings and stories of the Desert Fathers is insightful I'm not even Catholic and I find these stories about so absolutely inspirational even I am amazed. Perhaps modern churches should head backwards instead of always saying they are forward looking. Just sayin eh!

  • Halliday
    2018-12-10 02:49

    These guys kicked more booty in an hour than you and all your urbane friends could even think about kicking if you ever even got up off the sofa. Smart, dedicated, and tough as nails -- that's what I'm talking about. Smackdown!!! Desert style.

  • Joseph Shafer
    2018-12-14 00:51

    I spent most of 2011 slowly reading the saying of the Desert Fathers as translated in this book. It contains mass amounts of wisdom through direct language and through storytelling. I recommend it to the max.

  • Jonathan
    2018-11-18 07:42

    I didn't see it as something where I agreed with the message of every story and saying (some don't agree with each other), but it is a different kind of wisdom than you will get anywhere else in the world.

  • Patricia
    2018-12-13 00:46

    Lots of great wisdom here. Even if you only have a few minutes, put this book by your bed and you can glean so much just from reading a few of these sayings from the Desert Fathers.

  • Prophet Elijah
    2018-11-25 03:51

    BR1705.A2 V525 1998

  • JohnOwen
    2018-12-16 01:37

    super strange and interesting. sometimes you just gotta become a hermit in the desert.

  • Jt
    2018-12-03 08:58

    holy moly, glad to get it done

  • Kate
    2018-11-23 04:51

    One of the few college textbooks I wish I had not sold back to the book store.(Though, I'm not sure if this is the correct one...)