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In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of Desert Fathers and Mothers

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In the Heart of the Desert
The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers 

Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis

Foreword by Benedicta Ward

World Wisdom 

ISBN 0-941532-51-8


This book brings to readers the lives and thoughts of some key representatives of the early Desert Fathers and Mothers, who were so important in the history of the early Christian Church.

Through words of spiritual counsel which span the centuries, In the Heart of the Desert portrays several of the key figures in early Christian monasticism including one of the Desert Mothers, Amma Syncletica. It also includes the first translation into English of the fifth-century text, the Reflections of Abba Zosimas.

The words of the Desert Fathers and Mothers have influenced the spiritual lives of many people, from Saint Augustine to Thomas Merton. Behind these sayings and stories is concealed the very face of God, who speaks to each of us in the present for all eternity. In a sense, this is not a book of the past, of the fourth or fifth centuries. It may be described as a book of the age to come, or of a new age. It speaks to our present age of an experience of a new life, of a fullness and renewal of life.

Glimpses of their austere and holy lives and many of their important sayings are contained in this book by Fr. John Chryssavgis, former Professor of Theology and Dean at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. 

In the Heart of the Desert also includes a foreword by Benedicta Ward, SLG, editor of the acclaimed collection Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection, (Cistercian Publications: Kalamazoo, MI, 1975), and a noted expert in this fascinating area of Christian history and ageless wisdom.