Sister Benedicta Ward

One of the leading scholars on the Desert Tradition is Sister Benedicta Ward. Her works include:
ward 1
“The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection” (Cistercian Studies 59)
“Harlots of the Desert: A Study of Repentance in Early Monastic Sources” (2006)
“The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks” (2003)
“In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers; With a Translation of Abba Zosimas’ Reflections” (with John Chryssavgis)(2003)
“The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers”(2002)
“Daily Readings with the Desert Fathers” (1990)
“The Desert Of The Heart” (1988)
ward 2
“For thirty years now Sister Benedicta Ward’s translation of the sayings of 131 of the earliest monastics has served as an indispensable text for English speakers. In addition to her brief foreword and short biographical introductions (when they are known), the book includes simple maps on the inside front and back covers, a short glossary of terms, a chronological table of key events in the development of desert monasticism, a bibliography that is all too short and badly dated, and then two indices of key concepts, people and places. The sayings themselves stand alone without commentary.”
ward 3
Benedicta Ward is a sister of the community of Sisters of the Love of God, based in Oxford, England. She is Reader in the History of Christian Spirituality at the University of Oxford and Supernumerary Fellow and Dean of Degrees at Harris Manchester College. She has written a number of books on early monasticism and on the Middle Ages and is one of the world’s most knowledgeable writers on the legacy of the Desert Fathers and Mothers.

“The Community of the Sisters of the Love of God is a contemplative community of women founded in 1906 within the Anglican Church, to witness to the priority of God, and to respond to the love of God for us, reflected in our love for God. Its members believe they are called to live a substantial degree of withdrawal from everyday life, devoting themselves to prayer in the belief that this prayer, rooted in the praise and worship of God, is essential for the peace and well-being of the world. The Sisters offer their lives to God in prayer and daily life together in Community, seeking to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and with one another…The Community has a small publishing house, SLG Press, which was founded in 1967 and produces a magazine twice a year, the Fairacres Chronicle, and short works on prayer and the spiritual life. Current titles include centuries-old classical spiritual texts, such as sayings from the early Christian monks in the desert, studies of significant spiritual writers like Julian of Norwich and George Herbert, and contemporary pamphlets providing guidance in the life of prayer. The publications of SLG Press sell all over the world.”
See also
Publications of the SLG Press include many of special interest for the Desert Tradition, including: “The Spiritual Wisdom of the Syriac Book of Steps” by Robert A. Kitchen; “On Tour in Byzantium: Excerpts from The Spiritual Meadow of John Moschus”; “The Reflections of Abba Zosimas, Monk of the Palestinian Desert” by Abba Zosimas and John Chryssavgis; “The Desert of the Heart: Daily Readings with the Desert Fathers” by The Desert Fathers and Sister Benedicta Ward SLG; “The World of the Desert Fathers: Stories and Sayings from the Anonymous Series of the Apophthegmata Patrum” by The Desert Fathers Translated by Columba Stewart OSB. See

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: