Solitude and Interaction


in The Desert Fathers on Monastic Community

Published in print April 1993 | ISBN: 9780198263456
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682551 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Solitude and Interaction

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This chapter examines the Desert Fathers' reactions to situations in which they were forced to choose between the conduct of relationships and the practice of solitude. It considers three main points: how the Desert Fathers viewed formal relationships for contacts with one another which were provided by the community's common meal or agape and by the practice of hospitality; the importance they attributed to the solitude of the monk's cell; and how they identified and reacted to those situations which might require flight from others. Statements of principle and stories such as Longinus and the brother, and the water jug, give an important insight in to what the Desert Fathers had to say about the dangers and the opportunities of the conduct of personal relationships.

Keywords: solitude; agape; hospitality; common meal; Cassian; cell; flight; exile; Longinus; water jug

Chapter.  13660 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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