Open Access

The “Ecumenism” of the Desert Fathers. The Relationship with the Other in Apophthegmata Patrum

   | May 13, 2019


Ecumenism is a 20th century concept that cannot be directly transposed in the everyday reality of the Desert Fathers, but the authority of the desert ascetics is still crucial to the monastic milieu of the Orthodox Church as well as other denominations. For this very reason, the present paper intends to investigate the stories recorded in the alphabetical collection of the Egyptian Paterikon in order to understand to what extent they may actually offer a guide to the complex relations with the Other. How do these stories illustrate denominational or even religious alterity? What types of rapports can one identify therein? Rejection? Separation? Acceptance of the other’s difference? These are all legitimate questions and their significance is amplified in the context of our times – a period in which we see an increase in fundamentalist movements and tendencies, including in the Orthodox community.

English, German
Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception