This new study sheds significant new light on one of the most significant movements in the history of Christian spirituality - the desert movement of the Early Church, the beginnings of monastic life. Drawing on recent research and newly translated ancient texts, The Desert Movement demonstrates that the spread of early Christian communities in the desert was far more extensive than previously thought. Previous study has focused on Egypt, but this explores the movements taking place in Sinai, Gaza, Judea and Palestine. It compares the common features and the variations of the different movements, introducing the lives and writings of many new monastic men and women, giving them a place among the established figures of desert spirituality.
'A very readable account of monasticism as it was recorded in the fourth to sixth centuries, and indications as to how we might appropriate some of the ethos of the desert fathers into our own lives ... A useful book for students of the desert tradition, for it serves as a basic history of the movement, as well as putting into context the major texts recording it ... In our secure society we often struggle to find the path of simplicity and renunciation of the gospel, so it is encouraging to hear Fr Ryrie urging us to use aspects of the teaching of the desert tradition as a measure of our response to Christ's call to us.'