Fr. Ted's Reviews > Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church: The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity

Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church by Andrea Sterk
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's review
Mar 12, 2012

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The book was interesting but I didn't learn a lot new from it. Monasticism early on became a powerhouse within Christianity. Though its original goal was to flee the imperial church, eventually monasticism was incorporated into the church, subordinated to the bishops and then became the source for the episcopal leadership of a hierarchical church. Though the Orthodox Patrisitic writers and bishops of that era often praised the monks, it is also true that the monks especially in the Christian East were both a charismatic force and a destabilizing one. Eastern monks engaged in forays into political debate, and used force and violence to support their causes. Still their was an admiration for an ideal monk. But while Chrysostom fought for monastic ideals as also the key virtues for a bishop, often what entered into the episcopacy was not the monastic ideal but simply the monks.

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