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Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery - Rebecca Krawiec

Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery

Hardcover

Published: 1st November 2001
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This title depicts the lives of female monks within a monastery located in upper Egypt in the period 385-464 CE. During this period the monastery was headed by a monk named Shenoute - 12 of his letters to the women under his care survive. Despite various technical textual difficulties, the author is able to use the letters to reconstruct a series of quarrels and events in the life of the White Monastery and to discern some of the key patterns in the participants' relationships to one another within the world as they perceived it. She begins by describing the monks' daily routine and discovers that the monastery's culture was based on uniformity, in both material goods and emotional support, for all the monks, regardless of background. She then goes on to investigate the female monks' relationship with Shenoute, specifically how he constructed and exerted his authority in these conditions, and the degree to which the women accepted it.

"This well-written book is an important contribution to the study of Egyptian monasticism and Egyptian church history."--Religious Studies Review "A work of painstaking historical reconstruction, this book also offers a sophisticated and original theoretical reading of the way power and gender shaped the life of a particular early Christian monastic community. It is the deft weaving of these two perspectives that makes this work such a valuable contribution to our emerging understanding of ancient Christian monasticism."-- American Benedictine Review "Superior work...one of the best discussions of monastic life and its nuances that I have seen."--David Frankfurter, University of New Hampshire, Author of Religion in Roman Egypt "Under the long tenure of its abbot Shenoute (385-465), the White Monastery grew to become one of the most important centers of monasticism in ancient Egypt, including several thousand monks, both male and female. Yet this dynamic and controversial leader and his many followers remain poorly known and misunderstood among contemporary historians. Rebecca Krawiec's outstanding book gives us intimate access to a community of vibrant ascetic women chafing under the leadership of a stern and irascible man. Making use of newly recovered and untranslated Coptic sources, Krawiec shows how conflicts and negotiations over everyday issues like food and clothing constructed monastic authority, holy space, gender, and family. This gracefully written study will appeal to readers interested in early Christianity, monasticism, late antiquity, and gender studies."--David Brakke, Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University, Author of Athanasius and the Politics of Asceticism "This well-written book is an important contribution to the study of Egyptian monasticism and Egyptian church history."--Religious Studies Review "A work of painstaking historical reconstruction, this book also offers a sophisticated and original theoretical reading of the way power and gender shaped the life of a particular early Christian monastic community. It is the deft weaving of these two perspectives that makes this work such a valuable contribution to our emerging understanding of ancient Christian monasticism."-- American Benedictine Review "This important book....should significantly influence the study of monasticism in late antiquity."--History: Reviews of New Books

Abbreviations Introduction 1: Daily Life in the White Monastery under Shenoute 2: Women's Life in the White Monastery under Shenoute 3: Shenoute's Discourse of Monastic Power 4: Acceptance and Resistance: The Women's Power 5: "They too are Our Brethren": Gender in the White Monastery 6: Gender and Monasticism in Late Antiquity 7: Women's Role in the Monastic Family: The Intersection of Power and Gender 8: "According to the Flesh": Biological Kin in the White Monastery Notes Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780195129434
ISBN-10: 0195129431
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 260
Published: 1st November 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.5  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.52