Oasis of Wisdom: The Worlds of the Desert Fathers and Mothers  -     By: David Keller
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Oasis of Wisdom: The Worlds of the Desert Fathers and Mothers

Liturgical Press / 2005 / Paperback

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The life and wisdom of the desert fathers and mothers is not only retained in historical volumes, but has been a constant presence throughout the development of the church. A formative influence since the time of the early Christians, this wisdom has the power to transform and nurture even today. Using six fundamental aspects of desert monastic life as windows--The Cell, Patience, Praxis, Labor and Time, Solitude and Silence, and Humility--this book reveals the world that created the wisdom of early Christian monastic men and women. With this experiential approach to learning, Keller goes beyond simple reflection by providing substantial historical background, including the environment of solitude, ascetic disciplines, labor, and daily life experiences. Touching on the social, religious, political, and linguistic influences of the culture, it is an ideal introduction for modern readers with limited backgrounds in theology or church history. This book is ideal for those seeking spiritual mentoring or a discipline or prayer, and will appeal to those from all denominations and backgrounds, from those new to church history to oblates. The richness of this ancient wisdom will challenge modern Christians to catch the spirit of the desert elders and join in their struggle to live and authentic human life.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0814630340
ISBN-13: 9780814630341
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

The life and wisdom of the desert fathers and mothers is not only retained in historical volumes, but has been a constant presence throughout the development of the church. A formative influence since the time of the early Christians, this wisdom has the power to transform and nurture even today.

Using six fundamental aspects of desert monastic life as windows - The Cell, Patience, Praxis, Labor and Time, Solitude and Silence, and Humility - Oasis of Wisdom reveals the world that created the wisdom of early Christian monastic men and women. With this experiential approach to learning, Keller goes beyond simple reflection by providing substantial historical background, including the environment of solitude, ascetic disciplines, labor, and daily life experiences. Touching on the social, religious, political, and linguistic influences of the culture, it is an ideal introduction for modern readers with limited backgrounds in theology or church history.

Oasis of Wisdom is ideal for those seeking spiritual mentoring or a discipline of prayer, and will appeal to those from al denominations and backgrounds, from those new to church history to oblates. The richness of this ancient wisdom will challenge modern Christians to catch the spirit of the desert elders and join in their struggle to live an authentic human life.

Chapters are: Politeia: The Monastic World of the Desert Fathers and Mothers," *Oikoumene: The Inhabited World Surrounding the Desert Fathers and Mothers, - *Sunrise to Sunrise: The Daly Lives of Early Egyptian Desert Elders and Monastic Communities, - *The Cell: Meeting God and Ourselves, - *Patience: Learning Not to Run from God or Authentic Human Life, - *Stillness and Silence: Being Present to God, Ourselves, and the World, - *Praxis: An Ascetic Vocation that Forms, Nourishes and Guards the Soul, - *Praxis and Labor: The Sanctification of Daly Life, - *Humility: Making Christ Tangible, - and *Two Deserts. - Also includes an introduction and a bibliography.

The Rev. David G.R. Keller, Ed D, is the former Steward of the Episcopal House of Prayer at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. He currently leads contemplative retreats at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, and at The Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg, California. Along with Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO, he has formed and facilitates The Contemplative Ministry Project.

"

Author Bio

David G. R. Keller, an Episcopal priest, is adjunct professor of ascetical theology at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. He is co-steward, with his wife, Emily Wilmer, of Oasis of Wisdom: An Institute for Contemplative Study, Practice, and Living based in Asheville, North Carolina (www.oasisofwisdom.net). He is the author of Oasis of Wisdom: The Worlds of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (Liturgical Press) and Come and See: The Transformation of Personal Prayer (Morehouse Publishing).

Editorial Reviews

Keller acknowledges the obstacles to a modern spirituality but invites us to overcome them and make the journey into our own hearts. He is to be congratulated on opening up a world often seen as accessible only to monastics and professional theologians. This is a rewarding book on which to meditate and ponder.
Theology

. . . Of the making of books there is no end, as the Preacher, said, but to find grain among the chaff is a gift.
Theresa Margaret, C.H.N. Hermit, Iconographer Llyn Peninsula, Wales

There is so much that resonates (and stirs my conscience) on every page, and so much that is relevant and helpful here and now in very practical terms, not only for solitaries like me, but also for anyone committed to God, and indeed anyone searching for commitment, for we all have the need for solitude in our spirit, whatever form of life we live. It is full of wisdom , not only that of the abbas and ammas, but your own. It is a book to savor and re-read. Indeed it is one of those rare books where a paragraph or even a sentence or phrase is enough for the time being.
Theresa Margaret, C.H.N. Hermit, Iconographer Llyn Peninsula, Wales

Well written, inspiring, and provocative. It allows the desert mothers and fathers to speak for themselves; it provides a context for their sayings that neither ignores nor dismisses but acknowledges the differences with our own place in history, nevertheless retrieves the wisdom of these holy men and women in a manner attractive to contemporary longings.
Catholic Books Review

Recommended for all theological collections.
Catholic Library World

Oasis of Wisdom is a serious and engaging spiritual journey.
Catholic Library World

This book, itself, in its organization and in its thought, is truly helpful and fresh, giving gentle nudges towards a deeper understanding of our own lives, using the time-tried wisdom of the Christian tradition. I recommend it highly, and with thanks to the author.
The Newsletter of the Friends of Saint Benedict

This present book, by David Keller, has wonderful qualities—readability among them—that allow the newcomer to this genre a gentle entrance into a small and very tight pocket of Christian spirituality.
The Newsletter of the Friends of Saint Benedict

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