Ascetics, Society, and the Desert: Studies in Early Egyptian Monasticism

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A&C Black, May 1, 1999 - Religion - 287 pages
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Basing his work on papyrological documentary sources, archaeology, and traditional literary sources, James Goehring gradually forces a new direction in understanding the evolution of monasticism. He rigorously examines these multiple sources, transforming them into a clear narrative and infusing the history of Egyptian monasticism with renewed energy. "This is a fine collection of essays. It reads well as a complete unit, displays the complexity of writing the history of Egyptian monasticism, and incorporates new kinds of documentary and archaeological evidence. It is first-rate scholarship impeccably argued and written. This book is a must for historians of monasticism and late antiquity, Egyptologists, religious studies teachers interested in spirituality, papyrologists, and anyone in the general public fascinated by the growth and development of religious communities." Richard Valantasis, St. Louis University "In these twelve essays, Goehring convincingly dismantles much previous scholarship regarding early Egyptian monasticism. Appealing to archaeological and papyrological evidence as well as to literary texts, he situates Pachomian monasticism in the midst of the economic and social life of its time. The diversity of Egyptian monasticism, in theology and in lifestyle, is here demonstrated. Highly readable and clearly argued. Goehring's books is a must for all scholars of early Christianity." Elizabeth A. Clark, Duke University James E. Goehring is Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion at Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Origins of Monasticism
13
The Social and Economic World
39
Diverse Images of the
53
Literary Production and
73
Pachomius and the
89
The Making of a Desert Ascetic
110
The Development of a
137
New Frontiers in Pachomian Studies
162
A Challenge to
187
Monastic Diversity and Ideological Boundaries in
196
The Fourth Letter of Horsiesius and the Situation in the
221
Chalcedonian Power Politics and the Demise of
241
Bibliography of Cited Works
263
Index
281
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About the author (1999)

James E. Goehring is Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion at Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA.

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