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10. St. Athanasius: The Life of St. Antony (Ancient Christian Writers) Hardcover – January 1, 1978
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after encounter. These encounters begin when Antony was left alone in the world with his sister as an early adult. From the very start, Antony's spiritual journey delved into what is now taboo for many Christians: spiritual warfare. Seeking the devil out on his own terms, Antony refused to give into temptation and immediately became a target for attack. The end of his career as a hermit brought forth powerful prayer, wisdom, and - thanks to Life of Antony - considerable fame. Virtually unknown today, Antony remains a largely untapped resource.
The rest of the work could be described as a kind of a monastic manual, with particular emphasis on fighting demons. Athanasius records Antony's struggles, and tells his readers how to recognize and fight the devil. Throughout the story, the power of the sign of the cross is stressed, and we are urged to sign our houses and ourselves in order to repel evil. Near the very end, Antony debates various Greek philosophers regarding the Cross and the Incarnation.Read more ›
Anthony withdrew to the desert, living on bread and prayer. There he was attacked and tempted by physical manifestations of demons that did everything from make gold coins materialize in front of him to physically beat him. As a result of his prayer life and unique habits, he came to the attention of the wider public. Two Greek philosophers sought him out and witnessed a possession, to which he replied, "Let's see you cast those out with your syllogisms." Likewise, he received a letter from the Emperor, which he greeted with equal disinterest (though less disdain) as Diogenes.
The only room the work leaves for suspicions is when one considers whether or not Athanasius might have been using it as a polemical tool. Anthony's fervor for Trinitarian theology and opposition to the Arians (of which he has a vision of a take-over of the empire, making one wonder if Athanasius didn't imagine Arians where Anthony was envisioning barbarians) could have been taken straight from Athanasius' theological writings. There are moments where one wonders if Athanasius is reporter or rhetorician.
Nonetheless, that vague suspicion gets lost under the sheer surprise of the story of this cryptic life. There is no doubt that Athanasius and his listeners took the story at face value. To the modern, post-enlightenment writer you must either reject it as mythical as buy into it as historical.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This short (98 pages) biography of a saint written by another saint is one of the most valuable books I have ever read. Read morePublished on January 9, 2012 by Sue L.
I ordered this book and it was delivered incredibly fast. The book is an excellent read and gives an incredible snapshot of the trials and temptations St.Antony endured. Read morePublished on February 20, 2009 by M. Hood