A Life Pleasing to God: The Spirituality of the Rules of St. Basil

Augustine Holmes OSB
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Basil the Great (330-379) is one of the most important figures in Christian history and a theologian and spiritual teacher of ecumenical significance. At a time when the sources of their rich spiritual heritage are being re-appropriated by Christians of many traditions, it is strange that little attention has so far been given to Basilian spirituality.

A Life Pleasing to God tells the story of Basil's own spiritual development in the theologically turbulent fourth-century. Its core is a study of those passages of the Asceticon which illustrate his understanding of the foundation of the Christian life and lay out the possibilities and problems, of Christian community.

In the series of answers- sometimes called 'rules'- which he gives to questions put to him by his disciples, Basil shares his version of a life lived according to Scripture, a life pleasing to God. In reading them, we learn how monastic communities were founded and developed; yet basil insists that his teaching is intended for every Christian- whether in or out of the monastery.

The first substantial study of Basilian spirituality to appear in English in seventy years, A Life Pleasing to God presents teaching with a surprising relevance to modern concerns.

'Brother Augustine's book is an excellent introduction to this important text, providing an accurate translation of the most important passages, making clear its historical context, and drawing out its spiritual wisdom for today.' -Andrew Louth

Augustine Holmes OSB is a Benedictine monk of Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland.