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Desert ChristiansAn Introduction to the Literature of Early Monasticism$
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William, S.J. Harmless

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195162234.001.0001

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Monastic Origins: Perspectives, Discoveries, and Disputed Questions

Monastic Origins: Perspectives, Discoveries, and Disputed Questions

(p.417) 13 Monastic Origins: Perspectives, Discoveries, and Disputed Questions
Desert Christians

William, S.J. Harmless (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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