Wisdom of the Desert

Jun 14, 2013 by

wisdom of the desert Wisdom of the Desert by James O. Hannay was originally published in 1904 and is an interesting book filled with sayings and stories of early Christian hermits and monks.   Here are a few words by Mr. Hannay from the book’s preface to give you an idea of his intent:

“This little book is neither a critical examination of the earlier Egyptian monastic literature nor an historical account of the movement. It is nothing more than an attempt to appreciate the religious spirit of the first Christian monks. I do not know of any other similar attempt, though an exceedingly interesting study of the hermit life will be found in E. Lucius’ Das Monchische Leben des vierten und funften Jahrhunderts in der Beleuchtung seiner Vertreter und Gonnor. The collection of stories and sayings which I have translated, sometimes very freely, must be regarded merely as an anthology culled from the “meadows” of the literature of the desert life. There is much more which is worthy of a place in our devotional literature, and which, I hope, may in, the future be arranged and translated by men more fitted for the task than I am. I acknowledge gratefully the assistance I have received from two friends — Miss Bloxham and the Rev. C. S. Collins — whose sympathy with things that are high and holy has been a constant help to me in my work.”

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