Trinity College

New Book on St John Cassian Published

Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College's Professor Daniel G. Opperwall has published his first book, entitled A Layman in the Desert: Monastic Wisdom for Life in the World.

Orthodox Christians today have no lack of resources on monastic spirituality. And yet startlingly little has been done to critically engage the monastic tradition and adapt its ancient wisdom for the Orthodox faithful living in today’s complex society. A Layman in the Desert aims to bridge this crucial gap.

Working with the Conferences of St John Cassian, Professor Opperwall constructs a kind of relationship handbook that shows us how the desert saints of old can help us build healthy, Christ-centered relationships with our spouses, children, friends, and coworkers.

Commenting on the work, Augustine Casiday, author of Tradition and Theology in St John Cassian (Oxford, 2006), said: “In the early fifth century, St John Cassian adapted what he had observed and experienced in the Egyptian desert for the benefit of monks and ascetics in the West. Daniel G. Opperwall’s book carries forward that process of adaptation. With knowledge and sympathy, he shows how St John Cassian’s works can also benefit those ‘in the world’ who strive for purity of heart.”

Professor Opperwall will be teaching History of the Eastern Churches 451-1204 in the Winter 2016 term, commencing January 2016.