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About this product
- DescriptionThe complete text of the Letters of Barsanuphius and John appears here in English for the first time. John Chryssavgis's faithful and deft translation brings vividness and freshness to the wisdom of a distant world, ensuring its accessibility to contemporary readers. Addressed to local monastics, lay Christians, and ecclesiastical leaders, these remarkable questions and responses (850 of them) offer a unique glimpse into the sixth-century religious, political, and secular world of Gaza and Palestine during a period torn by doctrinal controversy and in a context shaped by the tradition of the early desert fathers. The great old man, Barsanuphius, and the other old man, John, flourished near Gaza around the early sixth century. Choosing to dwell in complete isolation, they saw one with the exception of their secretaries, Seridos and the well-kwn Dorotheus of Gaza. Barsanuphius and John communicated in silence through letters with numerous visitors who approached them for counsel. Curiously, this inaccessibility became the very reason for the popularity of the elders. They formed an extraordinarily open system of spiritual direction, which allowed space for conversation and even conflict in relationships, while also accounting for the wisdom and the wit of the correspondence. Barsanuphius's inspirational advice responds to problems of a more spiritual nature; John's institutional advice responds to more practical problems. The two elders in fact complement one ather, together maintaining a harmonious authority-in-charity. Their letters are characterized by spontaneity and sensitivity, as well as by discretion and compassion. They stress ascetic vigilance and evangelical violence, gratitude and joy, humility and labor, prayer and tears.
- Author BiographyJohn Chryssavgis studied theology in Athens, Greece, and Oxford, UK. He taught patristics and church history in Sydney, Australia, and Boston, USA. His publications have focused on the early ascetic literature of Egypt, Palestine, and Sinai, as well as on Orthodox theology and spirituality.
- PublisherThe Catholic University of America Press
- Date of Publication30/07/2015
- SubjectChristian Theology
- Series TitleFathers of the Church: A New Translation (Patristic Series)
- Place of PublicationWashington
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintThe Catholic University of America Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight458 g
- Width108 mm
- Height210 mm
- Spine21 mm
- Translated byJohn Chryssavgis
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