The Ancient Rules of Shenoute's Monastic Federation

Gawdat Gabra and Hany N. Takla

in Christianity and Monasticism in Upper Egypt

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9789774161223
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970450 | DOI:
The Ancient Rules of Shenoute's Monastic Federation

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This chapter examines the rules and policy statements that occur in all of the books of Shenoute's Canons. The corpus now amounts to more than five hundred rules, that is, short passages that seem to be, or to cite, or to reflect, a monastic rule. Since many, many parts of the Canonshave not survived down to the 21st century, the original, complete text of the Canons must have contained even many more rules. It is suggested that Shenoute's Canons may give us some examples of the kind of urgent rhetoric that was delivered in the great assembly meetings, before an entire congregation, where instructors occasionally made use of the ancient rule books, just as Shenoute does in his Canons. If this is so, it will provide a partial answer to the question raised at the beginning of the chapter—namely, what are Shenoute's Canons?

Keywords: Shenoute; monastic rules; Canons; ancient rules

Chapter.  3117 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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