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Book Review

Monasticism / Church Fathers


The Conferences: 

John Cassian

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Find out how to do so on our page:

Plan of Salvation ______________

Tell others about Jesus like monk John Cassian does:

 Though we are not all called to the ministry of a Pastor, Foreign Missionary, Prominent Evangelist, or Christian Writer, we are all called by God to share our faith (witness) with those who are not Christians.  Some Bible verses that you will find helpful for doing this, and that you may want to commit to memory are found on other pages on our  web site (see: Memory Verses; 2nd Set: Salvation!, Plan of Salvation, and Statement of Faith). ____________

1997 by Boniface Ramsey, O.P.

Published by Newman Press. ____________


        Author: John Cassian (Monk, Abbot)             

Written about 400 A.D.

Translated by: Boniface Ramsey, O.P.

This text could be, and indeed was, considered the advanced text on living the Christian life.

While the stories of the desert fathers may sound daunting, their thoughts, as transmitted (and certainly adapted) by John Cassian are surprisingly honest, refreshing, and inspirational. 

These were people who truly sought, and knew God. 

As Cassian writes in the preface, we can criticize them as being too extreme, but the evidence of their lives testifies on their behalf.

Virtually every aspect of life is covered here in some way, as Cassian relates his "conferences" with various monks in the deserts of Egypt. 

This book is so refreshing and stirring, especially given the "junk food" spirituality that most modern Christian publishers pump out. 

This way is not simple or quick, but it does point to a fuller life. 

All those who say they follow Christ should give this a read. ___________________________

Since its inception in 1947, the Ancient Christian Writers series has become one of the world's premier patristic collections. 

Founded by the renowned scholars Johannes Quasten and Joseph Plumpe at The Catholic University of America, the series has grown to fifty-seven volumes over fifty years. 

Translations of the works of Augustine, Basil, Theodoret, Palladius, Chrysostom, Tertullian and, most recently, Justin Martyr are found amongst the thirty-six authors whose writings comprise the series. 

Widely recognized as the authoritative American patristic project, the Ancient Christian Writers series launches its second fifty years with the long-anticipated publication of John Cassian's The Conferences, translated and presented by Boniface Ramsey, O.P.

The first complete translation into English of The Conferences, Ramsey's rendering of Cassian is the only extensively annotated edition since the seventeenth century. 

Included are introductory essays, notes and a useful series of indexes. 

Popular for centuries in both the East and West, this work will now be available to a wider audience of scholars, students and spiritual seekers.

As always, each volume will present the reader with a high quality English translation, notes and a scholarly introduction. ___________________________

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Image: front cover of the (Ancient Christian Writers)  book, "John Cassian: The Conferences".

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"A highly readable translation." 

-Ashland Theological Journal

"A major event in modern monastic studies." 

-The American Benedictine Review

"A very welcome addition to the Ancient Christian Writers series."

 -Emilie Griffin, America

"An excellent translation."

-First Things

"For those who are interested in the historical development of monastic spirituality, this is essential reading."

-Monos ___________________________

The Ancient Christian Writers series is currently edited by well-known scholar and homilist Walter J. Burghardt, S.J., John Dillon of Washington, D.C. and Dennis McManus of Paulist Press. ___________________________

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