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"virgins of God": The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity
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 eith ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published February 29th 1996 by Clarendon Press
(first published January 1st 1994)
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Magnificent. Thoroughly researched and meticulously presented. Elm presents a solid argument for the existence of ascetic-monastic communities prior to the reform movements of figures like Pachomius and Basil. The first half, on monasticism in Asia Minor prior to Basil, is particularly splendid. The only critique I could forward would be that she makes use of some sources with perhaps too much optimism as to their reliable presentation of events. The "linguistic turn" (as Elizabeth Clark refers ...more
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