The insights of the desert monks of the fifth and sixth centuries amaze, and startle, readers by their wisdom. Among other things, they teach that the first step in overcoming our sinfulness is an honest perception of things as they are. By arranging these “words” in short Daily readings, Tim Vivian invites modern readers to savor the monks’ advice, as did those who collected these sayings, rather than dismiss them as a fascinating but irrelevant bit of history.
Tim Vivian is an Assistant 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) and Words to Live By: Journeys in Ancient and Modern Egyptian Monasticism, both published by Cistercian Publications.