Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Athanasius : The Life of Antony and the Letter To Marcellinus Paperback – January 1, 1979
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
The first work, The Life of Antony, is a work about the father of Christian asceticism, St. Antony of Egypt. It contains both narrative and doctrinal content; the doctrinal content is presented in the forms of discourses by Antony, usually to groups of monks. He teaches much on demons and the discernment of spirits, the fate of souls after death, the importance of staying within the Church and staying away from schismatics and heretics. The discourses are, at a few points, a bit polemical - like many works from the early Church - but not excessively overbearing.
The uniqueness of the story is not just in Antony's doctrinal discourses, though. The narrative teaches things all its own. One of these things is that by separating one's self from the world the holy person becomes so much more indespensible to the world. Although Antony lived as a monk separate from the world, he was never separated from the world; in geographically and spiritually separating himself from the world, Antony became that much more involved in his world. He taught, healed, exorcised demons and engaged in debates with philosophers, all of this because of his reputation as a holy man.
From this follows something else taught by the narrative: the pursuit of God truly transforms one and causes one to become a conduit for God's healing and redemption of the world. Antony received visions and words of knowledge about people and things about to occur and more people were converted to the Christian faith. The work of Antony, as the book repeatedly emphasizes, is the work of God.Read more ›
Having said that, I'm not saying that our culture is totally destitute of morality. There are examples every day of folks who love and work for justice and righteousness. They don't always make the news, which is sad.
Antony, the Father of Monks:
I was captivated when I first heard, at an early age of twelve, the Life of St. Antony, written by Athanasius, the heroic defender of church orthodoxy. The stories of Antony's battles with demons, and his toil and escape into the desert to avoid temptation, appeal to Coptic kids, even at early age and is used by the church to promote the monastic ideals in childhood.
The Vita Antonini, which St Athanasius wrote as the hagiography of Saint Antony, unveils fascinating mystical encounters while living daily within the boundary of a world ruled by the Powers of darkness. Written about 357, three decades after his election for Papacy in the great church of Alexandria, the Megalopolice. Athanasius for more than a half century toiled to preserve Nicene Orthodoxy, championed by him and by his successors establishing the solid foundation upon which Christian faith of the Christian East was built.
Antony's monastic pilgrimage was plagued with spiritual warfare during which Antony resisted temptation and became a target for renewed attacks. The rest of the work could be sorted as a manual of monastic instruction, with particular emphasis on resisting evil through self mortification. Within the same patristic tradition John Cassian and Evagrius Ponticus wrote their marvelous books for lay and monastics. Athanasius records Antony's struggles, and tells his readers how to recognize and fight the devil. St.Read more ›
It is within this context-the context of saintly stories, or hagiography-with which I wish to discuss Athanasius's brilliant "The Life of Antony", one of the most popular works of the early Middle Ages. "The Life of Antony" is where hagiography began, at least for the Christian Church and the Celtic Church. Many scholars believe Antony's Life to be Athanasius's most influential work, quite a statement for a theologian who also wrote significant treatises on the Trinity and the Incarnation, books and arguments which are still debated in seminaries and churches today. Even so, this is a Christian classic that believers will find worth a read.
Raised as a Protestant, my earliest experiences of St. Antony were from El Greco's magnificent painting. How different this notion of solitary spirituality was to the model that was being presented to me by the contemporary church! It was only when I attended seminary, and later pursued Celtic studies, that I realized the significance of this strange man who fled to the desert and found God. And how strange that (according to Athanasius) God would use an illiterate layperson to become the father of all monks and all monasticism!
This is a wonderful, surprising and often shocking read.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Used this book as a resource in class. As a primary source document, it's certainly a thought provoking read.Published 14 days ago by Philip J. Yoder
I highly recommend. If you are the least bit serious about your hagiography, you MUST read the life of Antony in a worthwhile translation!!! It will blow your mind = blown!!!! Read morePublished 1 month ago by techdecisionsinc
This is a good introduction to the desert fathers and the beginning of Christian monasticism. It should be a must read for anyone interested in the early Church.Published 20 months ago by C. M. Panyard
It even included a built-in book protector, complete with the picture of a mosaic of a bearded guy (presumably Athanasius).Published 23 months ago by Kenneth Bouman
This is the guy most responsible for the Bible. Interesting to read his fictional tale about a Saint written as though it were real.Published on December 29, 2013 by Jimmy Tex