Chapter

Introduction: The Community and the Text

GRAHAM GOULD

in The Desert Fathers on Monastic Community

Published in print April 1993 | ISBN: 9780198263456
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682551 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263456.003.0001

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Introduction: The Community and the Text

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The phenomenon of asceticism as an expression of Christian spirituality is much older than the monastic movement of which asceticism is one necessary element. This chapter considers the text and the community of such phenomenon. The second section of this chapter offers a brief account of the history of Apopthegmata Patrum, and of the translation of the original Greek texts into other languages of Christianity. The third section considers internal evidence for the early date of such collections and their situation in a primitive stage in the codification of the tradition of Sayings. The fourth section looks into the transmission of the text. This chapter shows that the Apopthegmata Patrum was a text marked by a distinctive conception of the history of the monastic community and notable concern with the relationship of individuals who founded it and represented its ideals over generations.

Keywords: Sayings; Apopthegmata Patrum; monastic community; asceticism; Christianity; text transmission

Chapter.  12173 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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