How did the monks of the Egyptian desert resist temptation and fight against the passions of gluttony, fornication, and pride that assailed and obstructed their contemplation of God? According to Evagrius of Pontus (345-399), the monk should 'talk back' using relevant passages from Scripture. In his book Talking Back, Evagrius, one of the greatest spiritual directors of ancient monasticism, lists over 500 thoughts or circumstances in which the monk might find himself being tempted. In addition to this list, Evagrius provides the corresponding biblical passages by which the monk should respond. Fully translated into English for the first time, this popular book of late antiquity and the Byzantine East helps us to explore the central aspects of early monastic spirituality. Paperback.