Desert fathers redux

In the last few pages of his book, Hart turns to the future and isn’t particularly optimistic. He brings up the desert fathers who retreated into the wilderness right as the rest of Christianity was rising over the empire. This is curious. Do they have a modern day equivalent? He says, no, not in the sense rising of ascetic monastic orders. However, withdrawing from everything but love may be the only thing that could weather the collapse and storm some folks are proposing. Interesting to consider anyway.

[The desert fathers] might be viewed as the final revolutionary moment within ancient Christianity: its rebellion against its own success, its preservation of its most precious and unadulterated spiritual aspirations against its own temporal power (perhaps in preparation for the day when that power would be no more).

-David Bently Hart, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies, p.241