All tagged Desert Elders

The alphabet of the Spirit: A conversation with Evagrius Ponticus

Three hundred years after the death of Jesus on the outskirts of Jerusalem and 1,000 kilometers away, the habitable margins of the deserts of Egypt were filling up with strange people devoted to becoming more like him.  The eldest and most revered of these are called the Desert Elders.  Most were native Egyptian villagers and peasants who left their villages and farms to enter the desert and follow more seriously the way of Christ.  They were mostly poor, not well educated, and of lower social class.   Their language was Coptic, with its roots in the ancient agriculture of the Nile.