A strange fusion of history and autobiography, this study ranges across the themes of sound and silence, solitude and desert, community and home, combining the past and the present, the historical and the personal, in a unique way. Driven by the conviction that “our sounding world deeply shapes our sense of place and of who we are,” Haines-Eitzen, a scholar of early Christianity, seeks to understand how early monasticism was shaped by the soundscape of the Middle Eastern deserts, but also what it means to orient ourselves to a place through listening. Drawing on her field recordings of desert sounds (recorded in the deserts of Israel and North America and made available in the book through barcodes that can be scanned), Haines-Eitzen argues that hearing the nuances of desert sounds requires a “deep listening” founded on inner quietness, and she evokes this state through tales of the Desert Fathers, who...

You do not currently have access to this content.