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Bibil Identifier bibil:250014
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) The Monastic Paradox: Desert Ascetics as Founders, Fathers, and Benefactors in Early Christian Historiography
Author Westergren, Andreas
Journal Vigiliae Christianae (Volume: 72, Issue: 3)
Year (Publication) 2018
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2018
Year (Copyright) 2018
Year (Reference) 2018
Language English
Pages 283-317 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This is a study of three literary sources from the late fourth and early fifth centuries CE that depict the rise of monasticism, the anonymous History of the Monks of Egypt, the History of the Monks of Syria by Theodoret of Cyrrhus, and Sozomen’s Church History. Although each of these texts conveys what Peter Brown has termed the "myth of the desert," i.e. a portrayal of monks as being part of another world, I argue that the same texts also reflect a "myth of the city," in which the monastic movement is depicted as a civic institution with regard to its foundation, regulation, and influence in the world. What these texts reflect is an attempt from the side of Christian authors to make sense of the multifaceted phenomenon that was monasticism, creating a conceptual space where different ascetic expressions come together as one, as ‘monasticism’ or as a desert city.
DOI 10.1163/15700720-12341358
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Ancient Christian Literature : Texts and Authors (Church Fathers) : Texts and Authors : Theodoret of Cyrus
Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Themes : Monasticism
Links Online document (PDF, English)
Last modification 2018-07-01