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

Paperback | February 1, 1993

byDouglas Burton-Christie

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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 themost 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 theirlives 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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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 themost vital dimensions of their spirituality...

Douglas Burton-Christie is at Loyola Marymount University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.27 × 5.51 × 1.06 inPublished:February 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195083334

ISBN - 13:9780195083330

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"Burton-Christie has made a valuable contribution to the study of early Christian monasticism with his masterly analysis of the place of Scripture in the lives of the hermits of Egypt. His work illuminates the ideals and conduct of the monks in a vital area and also provides insight into a wayof using the Scriptures as the living word of God which is of perennial interest. The theme of ascetic renunciation is presented as a natural response to the reading or hearing of the text of the Bible, where the word of the Cross became the bread of life for plain and simple Christians in the lightof the resurrection."--Benedicta Ward, S.L.G., Convent of the Incarnation, Oxford