Chapter

Monastic Origins: Perspectives, Discoveries, and Disputed Questions

William, S.J. Harmless

in Desert Christians

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780195162233
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835645 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195162234.003.0013
 Monastic Origins: Perspectives, Discoveries, and Disputed Questions

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This final chapter explores new perspectives on the origins of Christian monasticism. It includes a study of newly discovered papyri that highlight the place of edge-of-the-village ascetics (apotaktikoi) and papyri that testify to monastic organizations among schismatics, such as the Melitians. It also surveys recent research on monasticism outside of Egypt, especially in Syria, Cappadocia, and Palestine. It then probes ascetic movements outside Christianity, especially the Manichees, and assesses claims that these influenced Christian monasticism. Finally it examines both underappreciated trends, especially women’s asceticism, and overlooked figures, especially Shenoute of Atripe.

Keywords: origins; monastic; apotaktikoi; Melitians; Manichees; Syria; Cappadocia; Palestine; asceticism; women; Shenoute of Atripe

Chapter.  24682 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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