A History of the Athonite Commonwealth by Graham Speake

This book examines the part played by monks of Mount Athos in the diffusion of Orthodox monasticism throughout Eastern Europe and beyond. It focuses on the lives of outstanding holy men in the history of Orthodoxy who have been drawn to the Mountain, have absorbed the spirit of its wisdom and its prayer, and have returned to the outside world, inspired to spread the results of their labours and learning. In a remarkable demonstration of what may be termed ‘soft power’ in action, these men have carried the image of Athos to all corners of the Balkan peninsula, to Ukraine, to the very far north of Russia, across Siberia and the Bering Strait into North America, and most recently (when traditional routes were closed to them by the curtain of communism) to the West. Their dynamic witness is the greatest gift of Athos to a world thirsting for spiritual guidance. ‘This new book provides an astonishing and rich panorama of the many ways in which monastic life on Mount Athos has influenced Christian life across the Orthodox world for more than 1000 years’, Douglas Dales Published by Cambridge University Press, 2018, 350 pp (hardback) / pp xv, 294 (paperback), 41 colour illus., 5 maps, ISBN 978-1-108-42586-5 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-108-44432-3 (paperback). Available from FoMA only in paperback.

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