Give me a word, Father. From the time of Saint Antony—at least—younger monks would ask older, experienced monks, abbas or ammas (‘fathers’ or ‘mothers’), for a saving word, for advice, for wise counsel on how to live. In this book, Coptic scholar and priest Tim Vivian shares personal accounts of journeys to present-day monasteries in Egypt, and translations of ancient texts exemplifying the ‘words,’ the insights that have guided desert monks for nearly two millennia. Those who study the monastic tradition professionally and those who search it spiritually will find matter for reflection here.
Tim Vivian is an Episcopal priest and lecturer in Religious Studies at California State University Bakersfield. He specializes in Early Christian Monasticism.