Monasticism in Egypt: Images and Words of the Desert Fathers

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9780985899509: Monasticism in Egypt: Images and Words of the Desert Fathers

Christian monasticism began in Egypt over 1600 years ago, in the barren desert between the Nile Valley and the Red Sea, from where it spread far and wide through the various Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant traditions. But in the deserts of Egypt, sixteen centuries after the Desert Fathers, monasticism still thrives, and it is to these isolated monasteries in one of the world's most inhospitable environments that photographer Michael McClellan here turns his lens. Through his peaceful and timeless black-and-white images, McClellan reveals the quiet, spiritual world of today's desert fathers in the Coptic monasteries of the Red Sea Mountains, Wadi al-Natrun, and Upper Egypt, and in the Greek Orthodox monastery of Saint Catherine at the foot of Mount Sinai. Illuminating the photographs are extracts from the Paradise of the Fathers, tales of the Desert Fathers collected by Saint Palladius.

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From the Author:

The photographs for this book were made over a three-year period when I lived in Egypt. Visiting more than a dozen monasteries in southern Egypt and Wadi al-Natrun, as well as the Red Sea monasteries, I made thousands of images of the monks, monasteries, and monastic life to convey a sense of the ancient desert spirituality that is still alive and thriving in Coptic Egypt. Paired with the photos are selections from the ancient Desert Fathers of Egypt of the third and fourth centuries to show the continuity of the spiritual life in the Coptic tradition. I hope you will find the images of today's Desert Fathers and the teachings of their ancient forefathers as enriching as I did in making them and learning about the firsthand from these living vessels of ancient Christian spirituality.

About the Author:

Michael McClellan has been photographing monks, monasteries, and churches throughout the Christian world since the 1970s. He has a Master's degree in Photography from Syracuse University and has been widely exhibited in the U.S. and internationally. A member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, McClellan has been a diplomat since 1984. The photographs in this volume were made between 1988 and 1991 when he lived in Egypt as Director of the American Cultural Center. McClellan also maintains a regular blog on the Desert Fathers at www.InnerLightProductions.com and more of his photography can be seen at www.MichaelMcClellan.com .

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Michael W. McClellan
Published by Inner Light Productions Press (2012)
ISBN 10: 0985899506 ISBN 13: 9780985899509
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Michael W. McClellan
Published by Inner Light Productions Press (2012)
ISBN 10: 0985899506 ISBN 13: 9780985899509
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