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Document Details :
Title: The road from Egypt to Palestine.
Subtitle: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: Destination and Destiny
Author(s): CHRYSSAVGIS, John
Journal: ARAM Periodical
Volume: 15 Date: 2003
At the end of the fourth century, monastics fled from Egypt to Palestine following the condemnation of Origenism by Theophilus of Alexandria. At some point between the work of Abba Isaiah and the correspondence of the two Old Men of Gaza, there appears to have occurred a shift in the appreciation of the sayings. Abba Isaiah senses that he is part of the tradition of the Desert Fathers, that he has transplanted this tradition from the chosen land to an adopted land, and that he is obliged to keep that memory alive in his new homeland. Abba Barsanuphius and his disciples sense that they are a part of a new tradition, closely linked to the past and yet at the same time clearly looking to a different experience and a different environment. Abba Isaiah's attitude is backward-looking to the golden age of Egypt, Barsanuphius and his disciples are forward-looking to the diverse monastic population that they are serving and the diverse monastic culture that they are confronted with.