Religion Past and Present

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(292 words)

[German Version]

Pateriks or books of the fathers are collections of the sayings of the fathers of monasticism, especially in the Eastern church. The collections contain abstract words of wisdom, sayings embedded in short narrative episodes ( Apophthegmata patrum ), and later entire narratives, some including miracles. The collections reflect the spiritual experiences of the monastic fathers and seek to share these experiences with future ascetics, to open or ease the path leading to God and the “angelic life.” A fundamental source for the history of monastic spirituality is the Apo…

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Bryner, Erich, “Paterik”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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