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The Monastic Letters of St. Athanasius The Great


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Athanasiuss contribuiton to the monastic life has been greatly undervalued, for scholars have tended to concentrate on his theological writings and his influence as a religious leader. However, in these six letters addressed to monks, Athanasius is revealed as a wise spiritual guide and loving pastor, determined that the monks should receive orthodox teaching to avoid the pitfalls of Arianism and encratism, and concerned for the welfare of the Pachomian monasteries after the death of abbot Theodore. His balanced outlook on the religious life is combined with the conviction that there is no essential dichotomy between it and Christian life in the world.
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