New Revised Edition
This is a translation of a fourth century text on the lives of some of the
early monasteries of Upper Egypt.
The desert stood in stark opposition to the oikoumene, the inhabited
world of the fourth century. Not because the world was a bad place, but because
the desert — understood geographically, religiously, spiritually, and mystically
— was the harsh, uncomprising place where the Christian could be perfected
by God. Far from the Christian metropolis of Alexandria, removed from the well-known
and much-visited monastic settlements of the Thebaid, and infintely remote from
Rome, lay the garrison towns of Aswan and Philae. There Christians and pagans
coexisted. Integral to the christian community on this desert frontier of Empire
were the local monks-ascetics, intercessors, comtemplatives, and miracle workers.
Softbound. 206 pp.