The pearlers we meet in this book were early monks of Syria, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and Persia (Iran). They saw themselves as pearl-divers and pearl-merchants searing—through asceticism and prayer—for the precious pearl of mystical experience. Their quest led them into the wilderness, to a state of silent solitude in remote caves and hermitages.
Working from Syriac manuscripts in the British Museum, the Vatican Library, the Greek monastery of Saint Catherine in the wilderness of Sinai, and the Coptic monastery of the Syrians (Der es-Suriani) in the Egyptian desert, Brian E. Colless has produced a volume which draws modern readers into the spiritual world of Christian spirituality little know in the West or in the Chalcedonian East.
Australian both, Brian Edric Colless holds both a Ph.D. and a Th.D. From 1970 until 2001 he taught religious studies at Massey University of New Zealand. He continues to pursue his research into the syriac religious tradition, and also studies ancient writing systems, concentrating on the origin of the alphabet in the Bronze Age.