The most important texts which are being analysed in detail and partly edited are the early monastic collections of Apophthegmata Patrum (AP). The emergence of these collections, which have had, and still have, a profound influence throughout Eastern monasticism, and of which there are a numerous versions in all the languages of early Christianity, have been identified with the Gaza communities. The collections, organized alphabetically, according to the names of the father or mother, or systematically according to virtues and vices, contain sayings by and anecdotes about early monastic figures. The collections, of which only some versions have been printed and very few given a critical edition, have mainly been studied as to historical accuracy and general ideas, but little has been done to study the collections as literary texts or to analyse their educational setting.
Within the programme editions and analysis are being made of texts from the apophthegmata tradition in Greek, Syriac, Arabic and Ethiopic. The complicated textual transmission and the fluidity of the collections – many languages and manuscripts, different redactions and stages – involve many challenges and demand the use of a variety of perspectives and methods. One important method is the making of lists of concordances. Another help will be the text database now under construction.