Rarely known for its monastic elements, the Nicene Age boasts the emergence of the prototypical Christian ascetic: St. Antony. Committed to Scripture and discipline, Antony established obedience and simplicity as primary Christian virtues. But was that enough? Could solitude stand on its own, or did it serve a greater purpose? Antony, and the "desert fathers" who would follow his brave example, lived the answer to these questions.
This issue of Christian History & Biography takes an in-depth look at the Egyptian desert beginnings of Christian monasticism and asceticism in the 4th century.
Extreme faith in the early church.
Inside this issue you'll find:
- 'The Best There Ever Was' - Modern Christian hermits still look to him for inspiration, as did the entire Middle Ages. What did the illiterate recluse, known as Antony of the Desert, do to earn such adulation?Also: The Life Changing "Life of Antony"
- Exorcising the Desert - The stories of desert fathers' skirmishes with demons pointed to a larger struggle-and victory.
- Alone in the Desert? - Why thousands of early Christians took up the monastic way, and what their life was really like.
- Diet for a Large Soul
- Ascetic Agitators - The early monks not only prayed in the desert but sometimes rioted in the cities.
- Also: Worldly Monk
- Holy Land - Sabas just wanted to pray where Christ had lived and died but ended up establishing the most famous monastery in the Judean Desert.
- The Gallery: Getting Their Act Together - Monasticism was more or less a solitary affair until these four came along and taught monks how to live in community.
- Spiritual Pragmatists - For the desert fathers, theology was not the study of God but the study of how to become like God.
- Discovering the Desert Paradox - What so many in the early church found after they abandoned their loved ones and sought God in a seemingly God-forsaken landscape.A conversation with Belden Lane
Issue 64 (Volume XVIII (18), Number 4)
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