Orthodox Christians today have no lack of resources on monastic spirituality. And yet startlingly little has been done to critically engage the monastic tradition and adapt its ancient wisdom for the Orthodox faithful living in today’s complex society. A Layman in the Desert aims to bridge this crucial gap.
Working with the Conferences of St John Cassian, Opperwall constructs a kind of relationship handbook that shows us how the desert saints of old can help us build healthy, Christ-centered relationships with our spouses, children, friends, and coworkers.
Dr Daniel G. Opperwall is a husband, a father, and a layman. He teaches theology, patristics, and history at the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College, University of Toronto.
In the early fifth century, St John Cassian adapted what he had observed and experienced in the Egyptian desert for the benefit of monks and ascetics in the West. Daniel G. Opperwall’s book carries forward that process of adaptation. With knowledge and sympathy, he shows how St John Cassian’s works can also benefit those ‘in the world’ who strive for purity of heart.