Virgins of God: The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity  -     By: Susanna Elm
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Virgins of God: The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity

Oxford University Press / 1996 / Paperback

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Product Description

(PUBOxford University)Were women in the forefront of ascetic practices in late antiquity? Elm, taking a revisionist stance, plots the rise of cenobitic and eremitic lifestyles, which challenged the prevailing culture---first embracing women, then eventually excluding them. "An exciting read,"---Coptic Church Review. 464 pages, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 464
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 1996
Dimensions: 8 X 5 X 1 1/4 (inches)
ISBN: 019815044X
ISBN-13: 9780198150442
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Many of the institutions fundamental to the role of men and women in today's society have their origins in late antiquity. This revisionist study offers a comprehensive look at how Christian women of this time initiated alternative, ascetic ways of living, both with and without men. The author studies how these practices were institutionalized, and why they were later either eliminated or transformed by a new Christian Roman elite of men now thought of as the founding fathers.

Author Bio


Susanna Elm is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

Editorial Reviews


"Susanna Elm's book is a significant contribution."--Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Virgins of God is --dare I say it?-- an exciting book to read by anyone interested in early Church history and the role of women in the early Church, and is especially pertinent for monastics. It belongs in every monastic library. It is scholarly, but the scholarship is sensible, and almost always fascinating. The book is also very well written, and that is a gift in itself."--Coptic Church Review
"Susanna Elm's book is a significant contribution."--Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Virgins of God is --dare I say it?-- an exciting book to read by anyone interested in early Church history and the role of women in the early Church, and is especially pertinent for monastics. It belongs in every monastic library. It is scholarly, but the scholarship is sensible, and almost always fascinating. The book is also very well written, and that is a gift in itself."--Coptic Church Review
"A very well researched and documented academic treatise....It is, I believe, the first comprehensive study of the place of the virgin in antiquity to be written in English....Challenging and exciting reading...I welcome the publication of this book and recommend it to all students of the history of ascetics and community life, as well as to those exercised about the future of the consecrated state."--Fairacres Chronicle
"An impressive number of very good books on early monasticism have appeared in the last five years....To this list we can now gratefully add Susanna Elm's monograph Virgins of God....an exciting book to read. It should be read by anyone interested in early Church history and the role of women in the early Church, and is especially pertinent for monastics. It belongs in every monastic library. It is scholarly, but the scholarship is sensible, and almost always fascinating. The book is also well written, and that is a gift in itself."--Cistercian Studies Quarterly

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