Desert Fathers

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The Desert Fathers were early monastic founders in the deserts of Egypt, fleeing the cities and making their lives in the wilderness, living in asceticism and solitude.

Glossary Definition

The phrase "desert fathers" encompasses an influential fourth century group of hermits and cenobites who settled in the Egyptian desert. The origins of Western monasticism lie in these primitive hermitages and religious communities. Paul of Thebes is the first hermit recorded to set the tradition of monastic asceticism and contemplation, and Pachomius of Thebaid is considered the founder of cenobitism, or early monasticism. At the end of the third century, however, the revered Anthony of Egypt oversaw colonies of hermits in the middle region. He soon became the archetypal recluse and religious hero for the Western church--a fame due in no small part to the vast encomiums displayed in Athanasius' biography of him (Vita St. Antoni). These early monastics drew a sizeable following to their austere retreats through the influence of their simple, individualistic, rugged, and concentrated search for salvation and unity with God. The desert fathers were often appealed to for spiritual guidance and counsel by their disciples. Their responses were recorded and collected in a work called Paradise or Apophthegms of the Fathers. (Definition by Emily K. C. Strand.)

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See also

Published works

  • Apophthegmata Patrum. The Desert Christian: Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection ISBN 0026238608
  • Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna. The Ancient Fathers of the desert: Translated narratives from the Evergetinos on passions and perfection in Christ. ISBN 0916586782
  • Beasley-Topliffe, Keith, ed. Seeking a Purer Christian Life: Sayings and Stories of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. ISBN 0835809021
  • Carrigan, Henry L. Eternal Wisdom from the Desert: Writings from the Desert Fathers. ISBN 1557252831
  • Chryssavgis, John; Ward, Benedicta. In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. ISBN 0941532518
  • Cowan, James. Desert Father: In the Desert with Saint Anthony. ISBN 1590301455
  • Gruen, Anselm. Heaven Begins Within You: Wisdom from the Desert Fathers. ISBN 0824518187
  • Keller, David G. R. Oasis Of Wisdom: The Worlds of the Desert Fathers and Mothers.
  • Mayers, Gregory. Listen to the Desert: Secrets of Spiritual Maturity from the Desert Fathers and Mothers. ISBN 0892439300
  • McGuckin, John Anthony. The Book of Mystical Chapters : Meditations on the Soul's Ascent, from the Desert Fathers and Other Early Christian Contemplatives. ISBN 1590300076
  • Merton, Thomas. The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century. ISBN 1590300394 ISBN 0859690032
  • Merton, Thomas. Wisdom of the Desert. ISBN 0811201023
  • Merton, Thomas. The Wisdom of the Desert. ISBN 0877739765, ISBN 086012276X, ISBN 0811203131
  • Nomura, Yushi (translation and art); Nouwen, Henri J. M. (introduction). Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers. ISBN 1570753717
  • Nomura, Yushi. Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers. ISBN 0385180799, ISBN 0385180780
  • Strohmeier, John, ed. St. Antony of Egypt: The Holy Life and Teachings of the First Desert Father. ISBN 0972520066
  • Swan, Laura. The Forgotten Desert Mothers: Sayings, Lives, and Stories of Early Christian Women. ISBN 0809140160
  • Waddell, Helen. The Desert Fathers. ISBN 0375700196
  • Ward, Benedicta (translator). The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks. ISBN 0140447318
  • Ward, Benedicta. Discernment in the Desert Fathers: Diakrisis in the Life and Thought of Early Egyptian Monasticism. ISBN 978-1556353390
  • Ward, Benedicta (translator). The Sayings of the Desert Fathers. ISBN 0879079592
  • Ward, Benedicta. The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers: The Apophthegmata Patrum. ISBN 0728300346
  • Ward, Benedicta. The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers. ISBN 0745939759
  • Ward, Benedicta; Russell, Norman. Lives of the Desert Fathers: The Historia Monachorum in Aegypto. ISBN 0879079347
  • Ward, Benedicta; Bloom, Anthony. The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers. ISBN 0728301091
  • Wisdom of the Desert Fathers (1979). Eastern Orthodox Books. ISBN 0899811086

External link