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Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers [Paperback]

By Yushi Nomura (Translator), Henri J. M. Nouwen (Introduction by) & Mark Gruber (Author)
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Item description for Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers by Yushi Nomura, Henri J. M. Nouwen & Mark Gruber...

(PUBOrbis)One hundred sayings from 4th- and 5th-century desert fathers and mothers are accompanied by brush stroke drawings by artist/theologian Nomura. The spare pithiness of the writings are echoed in the direct, forceful artwork. A wonderful gift for a reflective friend. 122 pages, softcover.

Publishers Description
"As he was dying, Abba Benjamin taught his sons this: Do this, and you'll be saved: Rejoice always, pray constantly, and in all circumstances give thanks".

Each Christian who seeks God through prayer is continuing a tradition that began with the desert fathers and mothers of the fourth and fifth century -- simple peasants whose spiritual progress was marked by inner peace, self-control, poverty, patience, humility, and hospitality. Desert Wisdom contains some hundred "sayings" of the desert fathers, each accompanied by playful illustrations by Japanese artist Yushi Nomura. Bridging East and West, the simple truths of Desert Wisdom remain as fresh and vital to Christians today as they were to the disciples who first heard and recorded them.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers by Yushi Nomura, Henri J. M. Nouwen & Mark Gruber has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Commonweal - 09/28/2001 page 26

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Orbis Books
Pages   122
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.12" Width: 6.74" Height: 0.44"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2002
Publisher   Orbis Books
ISBN  1570753717  
ISBN13  9781570753718  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( D ) > Desert Fathers
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( N ) > Nouwen, Henri > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( N ) > Nouwen, Henri > Paperback
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
10Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Education

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers?

Excellent Wisdom!  Nov 10, 2008
My house church learned about this book when someone did a study presentation on the "Desert Fathers". After sharing this book with us, I bought three to give as gifts. Each page has inspiring insight that reflect biblical truths.
Excellent introduction  Jul 28, 2001
This book should convince most readers that reading the Desert Fathers (and Mothers) is enjoyable religious reading for the common spiritual seeker. The translations and the art accompanying them create a presentation that will appeal easly to those who enjoy the collections of Anthony de Mello, Idries Shah, various Jewish collections, Zen Buddhist stories ...

The tales and sayings themselves are short and evocative. For example: "Abba John the Little said: We have abandoned a light burden, namely self-criticism, and taken up a heavy burden, namely self-justification." It is accompanied by a picture in Japanese style with two women carrying loads on their head (sticks and basket) and two men with Sumo wrestler builds with large, heavy loads. The picture is as effective as the story at drawing the reader into the story.

After reading these stories, read Roberta Bondi's excellent theological introduction To Love as God Loves and the translations of additional tales by Merton, Ward and others.

superb introduction to the desert monastic tradition!  Jun 21, 2001
Yushi Nomura has put together a collection of roughly 100 sayings from the 4th and 5th century monks that we now collectively refer to as the Desert Fathers. In addition, each saying is illustrated with Japanese style brush drawings, which gives this collection a distinctive flavor when compared to either the collections by Thomas Merton or Helen Waddell.

This is not a comprehensive collection of sayings. Rather it serves as a superb introduction to this body of Christian literature. The sayings of the Desert Fathers are characterized by their pithy and direct nature. You will not find abstract theologizing here; the desert was a place where the hard realities of living the Christian life - humility, hospitality, forgiveness, failure, mindfulness of everyday things - were confronted every day.

Originally published in 1982, this new edition from Orbis includes a wonderful epilogue based on Henri Nouwen's unpublished lecture notes for a course on "Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry" that he taught at Yale in the early 1980's. It was Nouwen's course that introduced Nomura to the literature of the desert and began the process that led to this book.

Nomura's collection was my first introduction to the Desert Fathers back around 1984. The book has long held a special place in my heart, and I am overjoyed to see it reissued.


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