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Justinian and the Making of the Syrian Orthodox Church$
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Volker L. Menze

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199534876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534876.001.0001

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Monks and Monasteries

Monks and Monasteries

(p.106) 3 Monks and Monasteries
Justinian and the Making of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Volker L. Menze

Oxford University Press

The third chapter focuses on non-Chalcedonian ‘Monks and Monasteries’ as a crucial factor for the establishment of the Syrian Orthodox Church. After the non-Chalcedonian bishops had left their sees, the monasteries remained the only institutional setting in which the non-Chalcedonian theological tradition and church life could have been preserved. The chapter collects the available data from the sources (printed as well as from manuscripts) in order to record information for every known non-Chalcedonian monastery. It analyses the special cases of Amida and Edessa where the monks resisted violently and compares them with the situation of other monasteries. Although the new Chalcedonian bishops also exiled non-Chalcedonian monks, a majority of the monks could stay in their monasteries and preserve the intellectual resources of the non-Chalcedonian tradition. In other words, John of Ephesus' dramatic picture of Chalcedonian persecutions of monks is cut to size so that we end up with a rather sober sense of politics of the possible in a pre-industrial autocracy.

Keywords:   John of Tella, monk, monastery, John of Ephesus, Edessa, Amida, intellectual resource, manuscript

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