Publisher: Random House
The early Christian monks of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine were the spiritual heroes of their age--fleeing the security of civilization for the desert, where they sought God in lives of prayer, contemplation, and radical simplicity. This book is a portable collection of their teachings, and those of their contemplative contemporaries, ranging from the fourth through the eleventh centuries. It is arranged to the traditional model of three ascending "books": Praktikos (practice), Theoretikos (theory), and Gnosis (knowledge). Each book consists of 100 "sentences"--aphorisms or thoughts. Each sentence is intended to be read and meditated upon for an entire day--just as the monks themselves might have done as they went about their work.
John Anthony McGuckin, PH.D., is an Orthodox priest and a professor of early Church history at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Born in Newcastle, England, he is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the author of nine books, including Standing in God's Holy Fire: The Byzantine Tradition and At the Lightning of the Lamps: Hymns of the Ancient Church.