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The Reflections of Abba Zosimas, Monk of the Palestinian Desert
Author: Abba Zosimas
Translator: John Chryssavgis
Abba or Saint Zosimas, also known as Zosima, was born c. 460 in Palestine, and became a monk at a young age. He gained a reputation as an elder and ascetic, moving to a strict monastery located in the wilderness close to the Jordan River, where he spent the remainder of his life. He is best known for his encounter with St Mary of Egypt towards the end of her life, and is thought to have died c 560, at the age of almost one hundred.
John Chryssavgis, born in Australia in 1958, is an Orthodox deacon and theological advisor on environmental issues to the Ecumenical Patriarch. He graduated in theology from the University of Athens in 1980 and was awarded his doctorate by the University of Oxford in 1983. He has held academic appointments in Australia, the Lebanon and in the USA, where he now lives. He has published a number of books and specialises in the ascetic thought and practice of the early Church, from the desert tradition of Egypt in the fourth century to Palestine and Sinai in later centuries.
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Translated into English for the first time by John Chryssavgis, these Reflections present, with great simplicity, the day-to-day teaching and example of one of the great sixth-century eremitical Fathers of the Palestinian desert. For Abba Zosimas, obedience to the gospel implies a radical disposition of love for the neighbour in every thought, word and action. This is the key to freedom and joy.