Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery: Egyptian Monasticism in Late Antiquity
Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery: Egyptian Monasticism in Late Antiquity  -     By: Rebecca Krawiec
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Oxford University Press / 2002 / Hardcover
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Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery: Egyptian Monasticism in Late Antiquity

Oxford University Press / 2002 / Hardcover

In Stock
Stock No: WW129434


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Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 264
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 X 0.75 (inches)
ISBN: 0195129431
ISBN-13: 9780195129434

Publisher's Description

This book 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; thirteen of his letters to the women under his care survive. These writings are fragmentary, only partially translated, little studied, and written in difficult-to-decipher Coptic. Despite these problems, Krawiec has used 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.

Editorial Reviews


"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


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