Symeon the New Theologian in the Context of the Studite Monastic Tradition

Hilarion Alfeyev

in St. Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition

Published in print June 2000 | ISBN: 9780198270096
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683893 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Symeon the New Theologian in the Context of the Studite Monastic Tradition

Show Summary Details


The monastery of Stoudios played a decisive role in the life of Symeon the New Theologian. It represented a new kind of urban monasticism in comparison with early Christian monasteries, whether cenobitic or eremitical. The unique history of the Studite monastery, its location in the Byzantine capital, its significance for the defence of the veneration of icons, its liturgical and hymnographical activity, its role in the spiritual direction of people, its influence on Byzantium's politics, its richness and grandeur, and, of course, the great personalities of Theodore and other hegumens and elders gave the Stoudion the central position which the monastery occupied in Byzantine monasticism for several centuries. Although we have no evidence that learning Scripture by heart was compulsory in Studite monasticism, reading books was encouraged and even required. Early monks read books in a contemplative manner just to gain profit for their own souls, whereas the Studites were supposed to be able to bring profit to others, particularly to seculars who asked for spiritual direction.

Keywords: Studite monasticism; Symeon the New Theologian; monasticism; monks; Stoudion; monasteries; spiritual direction; politics; Byzantium; hegumens

Chapter.  13510 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.