Chapter

The Spirit and the Letter

Chris Hann and Hermann Goltz

in Eastern Christians in Anthropological Perspective

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780520260559
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945920 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520260559.003.0006
The Spirit and the Letter

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This chapter examines how religious knowledge is produced and transmitted in the context of Orthodox monastic lives in contemporary Romania. It considers the use, by novices and those who train them, of notions of mysticism and charisma, in both discourse and practice, with particular reference to the use of texts. Cliché characterizations of Orthodoxy commonly emphasize a contemplative and mystical outlook. Such representations are not limited to Western observers. Orthodox theologians themselves speak of mysticism as the faith's central defining characteristic.

Keywords: religious knowledge; religious transmission; Orthodox monastic lives; Romania; mysticism; charisma

Chapter.  11297 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology of Religion

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