As the subsequent generations of ascetics looked back to their Egyptian fore-bearers a number of writers composed works to carry and develop the monastic tradition. John Cassian composed one of those texts and called it De Collationes Patrum (The Conferences of the Fathers). This work expanded and developed the short sayings of the first monks within a larger question and answer format. In each of these conferences Cassian addressed the theological and practical issues raised within the ascetic life.
Two things are important about Cassian’s work. First, the genre, regardless of its historical accuracy. highlights the relational nature of belief and practice. In short, discovery and understanding takes place in conversation, not in isolation. Second, Cassian shows us that the life of faith is both practical and notional. Simply stated, believing and doing are inseparable. This blog, then, is an effort to follow its name sake. Collationes is a place for conversation about the life of fatih and action.
It should be said, however, that this is a not a blog from a monastic perspective by any means. Rather, it originates from within the the traditions of the Radical Reformation. More specifically, its denomination of origin is the intersection of Anabaptist and Radical Pietist streams, namely the Church of the Brethren. However, Collationes is not intended to be another sectarian conversation but a public witness to the wider Christian theological and practical conversation.