• Monks and Empire: Asceticism and Political Disengagement in Late Antiquity

    Author(s):
    Zachary B. Smith (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Subject(s):
    Asceticism, Egypt, Civilization, Classical, History, Ancient, Monasticism and religious orders, Politics and government, Rome (Empire), Syria
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Palestine, Late Antiquity, Monasticism, Politics, Roman Empire
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6KW57H8R
    Abstract:
    Unlike other modes of Christianity in late antiquity, monks and nuns in the eastern part of the Roman Empire practiced a careful disengagement from imperial politics. While political figures tried to draw monks into their spheres of influence and use their popular power for political ends, monks practiced political renunciation in almost all instances. The only exceptions occurred when something interfered with their ability to practice asceticism; in those instances, monks viewed politics as a tool to ensure their freedom. This disengagement mirrors monastic reluctance to become involved in ecclesiastical politics, and is part of the impetus to retreat in late antique monasticism. The Roman Empire was the location of ascetic practice, not the proper concern of Christian monks.
    Notes:
    Supplement titled Religion and Politics. Edited by Ronald A. Simkins and Zachary B. Smith. URL: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/toc/SS14.html
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago
    License:
    Attribution
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