Lending Library


In the Heart of the Desert: The Spiritualilty of the Desert Fathers and Mothers

Author(s):   John Chryssavgis
Publisher:   World Wisdom (2003)
Format:   Paperback
Copies:   1 copy available
Product Info:   Book Description

Words of spiritual counsel from the heart of early Christian monasticism.

Editorial Reviews

"A beautiful and sensitive account of the lives and spirituality of the early Christian desert monastics." -- Douglas Burton-Christie, Loyola Marymount University, and author of The Word in the Desert

"An invaluable guide to the teachings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers...The love of God radiates from every page." -- Philip Zaleski, editor of The Best Spiritual Writing series, author of The Recollected Heart and Gifts of the Spirit, and senior editor of Parabola magazine

"Here is a secret to living a rich spiritual life...If you don’t know how...read this excellent book." -- Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul : A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

"If I were to recommend a single book to introduce the spiritual riches of the desert...this would be [it]." -- Robert Fastiggi, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

"John Chryssavgis is a wise guide in spiritual theology. He writes with...clarity, penetrating wisdom and a mischievously light touch." -- Graeme Ferguson, Senior Minister (retired) of St. David’s Presbyterian Church, Auckland, New Zealand

...the scope and content of Chryssavgis's book are readily understandable. This is a topical survey of an English translation (with consultation of the Greek text) of the fifth-century Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Benedicta Ward, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection [London: Mowbray, 1975)). It aims to present the sayings as a spirituality that was "revolutionary" for its time. -- The Journal of Religion January 2007

About the Author
The Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis was born in Australia (1958), where he matriculated from The Scotts College (1975). He received his degree in theology from the University of Athens (1980), a diploma in Byzantine Music from the Greek Conservatory of Music (1979), and completed his doctoral studies in Patristics at the University of Oxford (1983).

After several months in silent retreat on Mt. Athos, he served the Orthodox Church in Australia (1984-1994), co-founding St. Andrews Theological College in Sydney (1985), where he was sub-dean and taught patristics and church history (1986-1995). He was also a lecturer in the Divinity School (1986-1990) and the School of Studies in Religion (1990-1995) at the University of Sydney. Since 1995, he has taught as professor of theology at Holy Cross School of Theology, where he also directed the religious studies program at Hellenic College.

He is the author of many books and numerous articles on the early Church Fathers and orthodox spirituality.