Through rigorous examination of papyrological documentary sources, archaeology, and traditional literary sources, James Goehring gradually forces a new direction in understanding the evolution of monasticism. He ably transforms these sources into a clear narrative, thereby infusing the history of Egyptian monasticism with renewed energy.
Its Story from the Fourth Century to the Twenty-First
Author: Carolyn Schneider
Publisher: Liturgical Press
This book introduces a beautiful fourth-century Coptic discourse on love and self-control in its first English translation. The text’s heading attributes it to Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, but this attribution is questionable. Exploring issues of authorship and context, this book locates the origins of On Love and Self-Control in the Upper Egyptian Pachomian monastic community of the mid-fourth century. It then traces the various uses of On Love and Self-Control to the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, when the single surviving manuscript was copied as part of an anthology at the Monastery of St. Shenoute of Atripe. A partial reconstruction of this now dismembered codex is provided.
Pachomius, who died in 346, has long been regarded as the "founder of monasticism." Available again, Philip Rousseau's careful reading of the available texts reveals that Pachomius's pioneering enterprise has been consistently misread in light of later monastic practices. Rousseau not only provides a fuller and more accurate portrait of this great teacher and spiritual director but also gives a new perspective on the development of monasticism. In a new preface Rousseau reviews the scholarly developments that have modified his views and emphases since the book was published. The result is to make Pachomius an even less assured pioneer, a man likely to have been more involved in the village and urban society of his time than previously thought.
Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Coptic Studies, Leiden, August 27-September 2, 2000
Author: Mat Immerzeel
Publisher: Peeters Publishers
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
The congresses organised every four years under the auspices of the International Association for Coptic Studies (IACS) are the main forum for scholars of Egyptian Christian life and culture through the ages. The proceedings of the seventh congress, which was held in Leiden in 2000, comprise ninety-nine papers, reflecting the growth and diversification of Coptic studies worldwide. They include valuable and sometimes groundbreaking essays in topics of, for example, Coptic language, literature, monasticism and archaeology. A particularly noteworthy and important feature of the present proceedings are the state-of-the-art reviews of current trends and achievements in the main fields of the discipline, written by invited experts and accompanied by extensive bibliographies. These review articles cover aspects of Coptic studies as diverse as papyrology, gnosticism, liturgy, Copto-Arabic and art history. They turn these two volumes into real reference books, indispensable for every scholar of early Church history, late antiquity and Near Eastern Christianity.
The Egyptian language, with its written documentation spreading from the Early Bronze Age (Ancient Egyptian) to Christian times (Coptic), has rarely been the object of typological studies, grammatical analysis mainly serving philological purposes. This volume offers now a detailed analysis and a diachronic discussion of the non-verbal patterns of the Egyptian language, from the Pyramid Texts (Earlier Egyptian) to Coptic (Later Egyptian), based on an extensive use of data, especially for later phases. By providing a narrative contextualisation and a linguistic glossing of all examples, it addresses the needs not only of students of Egyptian and Coptic, but also of a linguistic readership. After an introduction into the basic typological features of Egyptian, the main book chapters address morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics of the three non-verbal sentence types documented throughout the history of this language: the adverbial sentence, the nominal sentence and the adjectival sentence. These patterns also appear in a variety of clausal environments and can be embedded in verbal constructions. This book provides an ideal introduction into the study of Egyptian historical grammar and an indispensable companion for philological reading.
Since 1963 the series Patristische Texte und Studien has been publishing research findings coordinated by the Patristics Commission, which today is a joint venture of all the German Academies. The series is presenting editions, commentaries and monographs on the writings and teachings of the Church Fathers.
Volume 1: "Christianity and monasticism have flourished along the Nile Valley in the Sohag region of Upper Egypt from as early as the fourth century until the present day. The contributors to this volume, international specialists in Coptology from around the world, examine various aspects of Coptic civilization in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Sohag over the past seventeen hundred years. Many of the studies center on the person and legacy of the great Coptic saint, Shenoute the Archimandrite (348–466 ce), looking at his preserved writings, his life, his place in Pachomian monasticism, his relations with the patriarchs in Alexandria, and the life in his monastic system. Other studies deal with the art, architecture, and archaeology of the two great monasteries that he founded and the archaeological and artistic heritage of the region."--Publisher's website.
For an entire millennium, Byzantine hagiography, inspired by the veneration of many saints, exhibited literary dynamism and a capacity to vary its basic forms. The subgenres into which it branched out after its remarkable start in the fourth century underwent alternating phases of development and decline that were intertwined with changes in the political, social and literary spheres. The selection of saintly heroes, an interest in depicting social landscapes, and the modulation of linguistic and stylistic registers captured the voice of homo byzantinus down to the end of the empire in the fifteenth century. The seventeen chapters in this companion form the sequel to those in volume I which dealt with the periods and regions of Byzantine hagiography, and complete the first comprehensive survey ever produced in this field. The book is the work of an international group of experts in the field and is addressed to both a broader public and the scholarly community of Byzantinists, medievalists, historians of religion and theorists of narrative. It highlights the literary dimension and the research potential of a representative number of texts, not only those appreciated by the Byzantines themselves but those which modern readers rank high due to their literary quality or historical relevance.
"Hugo Lundhaug and Lance Jenott offer a sustained argument for the monastic provenance of the Nag Hammadi Codices. They examine the arguments for and against a monastic Sitz im Leben and defend the view that the Codices were produced and read by Christian monks, most likely Pachomians, in the fourth- and fifth-century monasteries of Upper Egypt. Eschewing the modern classification of the Nag Hammadi texts as “Gnostic,” the authors approach the codices and their ancient owners from the perspective of the diverse monastic culture of late antique Egypt and situate them in the context of the ongoing controversies over extra-canonical literature and the theological legacy of Origen. Through a combination of sources, including idealized hagiographies, travelogues, monastic rules and exhortations, and the more quotidian details revealed in documentary papyri, manuscript collections, and archaeology, monasticism in the Thebaid is brought to life, and the Nag Hammadi codices situated within it. The cartonnage papyri from the leather covers of the codices, which bear witness to the monastic culture of the region, are closely examined, while scribal and codicological features of the codices are analyzed and compared with contemporary manuscripts from Egypt. Special attention is given to the codices’ scribal notes and colophons which offer direct evidence of their producers and users. The study ultimately reveals the Nag Hammadi Codices as a collection of books completely at home in the monastic manuscript culture of late antique Egypt."--
Perspectives on the Osirian Afterlife from Four Millennia
Author: Mark Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Osiris, god of the dead, was one of ancient Egypt's most important deities. The earliest secure evidence for belief in him dates back to the fifth dynasty (c.2494-2345BC), but he continued to be worshipped until the fifth century AD. Following Osiris is concerned with ancient Egyptian conceptions of the relationship between Osiris and the deceased, or what might be called the Osirian afterlife, asking what the nature of this relationship was and what the prerequisites were for enjoying its benefits. It does not seek to provide a continuous or comprehensive account of Egyptian ideas on this subject, but rather focuses on five distinct periods in their development, spread over four millennia. The periods in question are ones in which significant changes in Egyptian ideas about Osiris and the dead are known to have occurred or where it has been argued that they did, as Egyptian aspirations for the Osirian afterlife took time to coalesce and reach their fullest form of expression. An important aim of the book is to investigate when and why such changes happened, treating religious belief as a dynamic rather than a static phenomenon and tracing the key stages in the development of these aspirations, from their origin to their demise, while illustrating how they are reflected in the textual and archaeological records. In doing so, it opens up broader issues for exploration and draws meaningful cross-cultural comparisons to ask, for instance, how different societies regard death and the dead, why people convert from one religion to another, and why they abandon belief in a god or gods altogether.
This book revolutionizes our understanding of the life and thought of the great anchorite father of the Egyptian desert. It is a signal contribution to our knowledge of Egyptian Christianity in the third and fourth centuries.—Birger Pearson, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity Samuel Rubenson, by means of a fresh analysis of the letters of St. Antony, exposes the distortion of the picture of early Christian monks as unlettered and primitive. Rubenson describes the desert monasteries as centers of theological reflection in Egypt, showing how they combined the speculative philosophy of the Greeks and the biblical tradition. Included in this volume is a new translation of the letters themselves, which are shown to be authentic and an important source for the study of the desert fathers and the early monastic tradition. The later image of Antony is demonstrated to be influenced by church politics of the latter part of the fourth century. Samuel Rubenson is Associate Professor at Lund University, Lund, Sweden.