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Seminar 1:
Words from the Desert:
A Lenten Quiet Day

In the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era, thousands of men and women went to live in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, Syria and other parts of the Middle East, both as hermits and in communities. These desert fathers and mothers played a major part in founding the bedrock tradition of Christian spirituality in general, and of monasticism in particular, and have had a great influence on the Church in both east and west, past and present.

The flight to the desert took place at the beginning of the Constantinian era. The world then became friendly to the Church, and so St Antony and others withdrew from the world to keep alive the faith of the martyrs.

Now the Constantinian era is passing – has almost gone. Now the need is being seen for St Antony to come back from his desert, for contemplatives to move into the cities, for the desert to be sought in the midst of the secular city. Now it could be said that there is a need for the desert life to be lived, not just by those few called to be hermits, but by all Christians in a world no longer friendly to the Church.

In this Quiet Day we shall explore some of the insights of the desert fathers and mothers, and reflect on elements of the desert tradition, with a particular relevance for the Church and for ourselves in living the Christian life.

Date Saturday 24 February
Time 10.00 am - 3.30 pm
Venue Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Hotham Street, East Melbourne
Cost $25 (concession: $20),   BYO lunch (tea and coffee provided)
Conductor Fr Tom Brown
Associate priest at St Peter's, Eastern Hill. He has been a theological teacher, a parish priest, an archdeacon and a religious. He has lived in Jerusalem and has made a number of visits to desert monasteries in Palestine and Egypt.

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© 2007 The Institute for Spiritual Studies