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Christian monasticism began in Egypt over 1600 years ago, in the barren desert between the Nile Valley and the Red Sea, from where it spread far and wide through the various Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant traditions. But in the deserts of Egypt, sixteen centuries after the Desert Fathers, monasticism still thrives, and it is to these isolated monasteries in one of the world's most inhospitable environments that photographer Michael McClellan here turns his lens. Through his peaceful and timeless black-and-white images, McClellan reveals the quiet, spiritual world of today's desert fathers in the Coptic monasteries of the Red Sea Mountains, Wadi al-Natrun, and Upper Egypt, and in the Greek Orthodox monastery of Saint Catherine at the foot of Mount Sinai. Illuminating the photographs are extracts from the Paradise of the Fathers, tales of the Desert Fathers collected by Saint Palladius.
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About the Author
Michael McClellan is a Foreign Service Officer and Documentary Photographer. Born in Kentucky, he received his M.A. in Photojournalism from Syracuse University. McClellan has worked and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe documenting monks and monasteries of the Eastern Churches since 1978. For more of his work, visit his website at www.michaelmcclellan.com .