chapter  1
16 Pages

Cassian and the Conferences

For the faithful, the Hebrew Bible offers panoply of covenantal exemplars, men and women who are steadfast in their loyalty to the biblical God, who knows the fate of the people of Israel rests on human response to the offer of a unique relationship with the Divine. Within the Jewish tradition, men like Abraham, Jacob, and Moses were considered especially worthy to receive the promises of the covenant and to establish Israel as the people of God. Cassian makes frequent reference to various patriarchs and prophets in the Conferences, but his usage is not what could be considered strictly typological linked to the person of Jesus. Conference III is delivered by Abba Paphnutius while Cassian and Germanus are in Scetis and concerns what will be the hallmarks of anachoresis, the Three Renunciations. The use of Moses the Ethiopian echoes that of Antony and reconfirms the importance Cassian lays on including contemporary examples of monastic orthodoxy.