Women's Life in the White Monastery Under Shenoute

Rebecca Krawiec

in Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195129434
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834396 | DOI:
Women's Life in the White Monastery Under Shenoute

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Lays out the narratives and explores the issues of various periods of crisis that prompted Shenoute's letters to the female monks. The issue themselves are wide ranging: Shenoute's exercise of power over the female community; his insistence on the gender separation of the male and female monks, including forbidding visits among relatives even as Shenoute himself visited the female community; incidents of female homoeroticism; a debate over what constituted proper monastic duties and proper corporal punishment; gossip; disputes over the quality of clothing the women were producing for male monks, including Shenoute's; and complaints about the excessive nature of Shenoute's leadership. All these topics, even in their diversity and their focus on conflict, provided Shenoute with the opportunity to teach all the monks, male and female, how to lead a salvific life in the monastery.

Keywords: clothing; corporal punishment; female; gender separation; gossip; homoeroticism; leadership; monastic duties; monks; power

Chapter.  11614 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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