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The Holy Workshop Of Virtue

The Life of John the Little by Zacharias of Sakha

Edited by Tim Vivian, Rowan Greer, and Maged S. A. Mikhail

Saint John the Little was a monk and hegumen of Scetis (Wadi Natrun) during the first great period of early Egyptian monasticism. The Apophthegmata preserve some fifty sayings by or about him (see CS 59, 85–96). In addition, Zacharias, eighth-century Bishop of Sakha, wrote his Life, more than seventy percent of which is composed of material not found in the Apophthegmata. John bears witness to the formative period of early Egyptian monasticism. His Life, with its emphasis on obedience and compassion, offers a lively witness to the earliest monastic traditions and to their transmission and continuing importance in the Coptic Church. This book contains an introduction to the textual history of the Life of Saint John the Little (339–409) along with fresh English translations of the Bohairic and the Syriac Lifes of John the Little plus the definitive Bohairc Life in the Coptic text. It will be of interest particularly to academics, monastics, and others interested in monasticism, early Christian monasticism, early Church History, the Coptic Church, or monastic spirituality. Tim Vivian is associate professor of religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield. He is the author of numerous books and articles on early Christian monasticism, including The Life of Antony (with Apostolos N. Athanassakis), CS202, and Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers, CS225, both published by Cistercian Publications. Rowan Greer is the Walter Gray Professor Emeritus of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School. His scholarly work has been primarily in patristics. Retired since 1997, he lives in New Haven, Connecticut. Maged S. A. Mikhail is assistant professor of history at California State University, Fullerton. His publications and research focus on the history of Egypt during the early Islamic period.

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The Life Of Mary Magdalene And Of Her Sister Saint Martha

A Medieval Biography

Translated, with Commentary and Introduction, by David Mycoff

The cult of the penitent Magdalene grew rapidly in western Europe in the Middle Ages, as a number of shrines and church dedications attest. This medieval narration, tracing in imaginative detail the lives of the two sisters after the Resurrection of Christ, provides a model for christian women.

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Lives of the Northern Saints

Aelred of Rievaulx; Translated by Jane Patricia Freeland, Introduction and annotations by Marsha L. Dutton

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Russian Mystics

Sergius Bolshakoff; Introduction by Thomas Merton

A panorama of Russian Christian spirituality, richly illustrated with passages from formative works.

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The Life of Shenoute

Besa; Translated, with an Introduction, by David N. Bell

Shenoute of Atripe, ranked second only to Pachomius for his contribution to the development of egyptian monasticism, is all but unknown outside the coptic tradition. This first english translation of his Life, by his disciple and successor, casts new light on the austere monasticism of the fifth century.

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How Far to Follow?

The Martyrs of Atlas

Bernardo Olivera, OCSO

The Abbot General of the Trappist Order (Cistercians of the Strict Observance) reflects on the martyrdom in 1996 of seven of his monks, kidnapped from the Algerian monastery of Our Lady of Atlas and executed by a radical faction of the Groupe Islamique Armé. Choosing, despite known danger, to remain in the adopted homeland he loved, one of the martyred monks had earlier written: I am also aware of the caricature of Islam which a certain Islamism encourages. It is too easy to salve one's conscience by identifying this religious way with the fundamentalist ideologies of its extremists. For me, Algeria and Islam are something different—they are a body and a soul. I have proclaimed this often enough, I believe, in the sure knowledge of what I have received from it, finding there so often that true strand of the Gospel learned at my mother's knee, my very first Church, in Algeria itself, and already inspired with respect for Muslim believers. Originally published by St Bede's Publications.

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Benedict Of Aniane

The Emperor's Monk

Ardo's Life translated by Allen Cabaniss; Foreword by Clemens Radl and Annette Grabowsky

Given the task of reviving monasticism and imposing uniformity throughout the Carolingian Empire, Witiza, a Visigothic lord became monk with the name Benedict, and read and compared all the existing monastic rules he could. Despite his own preference for rigorous austerity, he settled on the Rule of Saint Benedict, composed for beginners or the sick as the guide most suited to his countrymen. Its imposition, with accompanying legislation issued at the reforming synods of Aachen early in the ninth century, made the Rule of Benedict as interpreted by the second Benedict the monastic norm in the west and the sole monastic rule for nearly three centuries. The late Allen Cabaniss was University Professor of History at the University of Mississippi.

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The Lives of the Monks of Palestine

Cyril Of Scythopolis; Translated by R. M. Price; Introduction and notes by John Binns

The narrow stretch of desert between the Jordan Valley and the hill country of Judea drew great biblical prophets—Elijah and John the Baptist—and unforgettable christian ascetics. Our best source of information on this movement from AD 400-600 comes from Cyril's pen.

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God Alone

A Spiritual Biography of Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron

By Gonzalo Maria Fernández, OCSO; Translated by Hugh McCaffery, OCSO; Preface by Patricio Peman

Set amid the tumult of the Spanish Civil War, this spiritual biography recounts the efforts of a fervent young Spanish aristocrat to come to grips with his artistic talent, his intense personality and, above all, his unquenchable passion for God. Trained in art and architecture, Rafael longed to be a Trappist, but was obliged repeatedly by war and illness to withdraw, and then try again. His intensively personal reflections form the basis of this biography of a man intent on giving his life to God despite all obstacles. Gonzalo Maria Fernández is a monk of Rafael's abbey of St Isidro. Hugh McCaffery is a monk of Mont Melleray Abbey in Ireland.

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Witness To Holiness

Abba Daniel of Scetis

Edited, with an Introduction, by Tim Vivian

Abba Daniel, priest, monastic superior and model of holiness in the austere world of desert monasticism, lived in the sixth century. Some dozen stories about him, and a few sayings attributed to him, have survived in Greek, Syriac, Arabic, Coptic, and Ethiopic. This dispersion attests to his broad influence in many areas of the ancient Church. Here for the first time are translations of all the material associated with Abba Daniel, a witness to holiness.Tim Vivian, the editor, is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at California State University, Bakersfield. His previous books include Words to Live By: Journeys in Ancient and Modern Egyptian Monasticism (2005), The Lives of the Jura Fathers, and (in collaboration with Apostolos N. Athanassakis) a translation of The Life of Antony from both Coptic and Greek (2003).The various translators have contributed their expertise in the ancient, and modern, languages in which these selections appear.

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The Life and Miracles of Saint Maurus

Translated, with an Introduction, by John B. Wickstrom

Maurus serves in Gregory the Great's Life of Saint Benedict as an example of the monastic virtues Benedict taught. As Carolingian monasteries adopted the Benedictine Rule in the ninth century, Maurus reappears again, this time as the holy successor to the holy lawgiver. A Life and Little Book of Miracles—purportedly ancient—extended his cult throughout France. Translated here and presented in their historical context, these two early medieval works present Maurus the apostle of French monasticism. John B. Wickstrom is Professor of History at Kalamazoo College.

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