“If you wish to achieve true knowledge of scripture you
must hurry to achieve unshakable humility of heart. This is what will lead you
not to the knowledge that puffs a man up but to the lore which illumines through
the achievement of love.”
— John Cassian
At the turn of the sixth century the Mediterranean world was witnessing
the decline of Roman rule that had formed the bedrock of its civil order. During
the chaos of those years, there arose in the deserts of Egypt and Syria monastic
movements that offered men and women a radical God-centered alternative to the
present society. Among the most eloquent interpreters of this new movement to
western Europe was John Cassian (c.365 - c.435). Drawing on his own early experience
as a monk in Bethlehem and Egypt, he journeyed to the West to found monasteries
in Marseilles and the region of Provence.
The Conferences, is a study of the Egyptian ideal of the
Softbound. 208 pp.