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By Vincent L. Wimbush, Richard Valantasis

ISBN-10: 0195085353

ISBN-13: 9780195085358

From meditation and fasting to celibacy and anchoritism, the ascetic impulse has been an everlasting and intricate phenomenon all through heritage. supplying a sweeping view of this elusive and arguable point of spiritual lifestyles and tradition, Asceticism seems to be on the ascetic impulse from a different vantage aspect. Cross-cultural, cross-religious, and multidisciplinary in nature, those essays offer a large old and comparative viewpoint on asceticism--a topic hardly studied outdoors the context of person spiritual traditions. The paintings represents the enter of greater than 40 preeminent students in a variety of fields and disciplines, and analyzes asceticism from antiquity to the current in eu, close to jap, African, Asian, and North American settings. Asceticism is geared up round 4 significant subject matters that lower throughout spiritual traditions: origins and meanings of asceticism, which explores the motivations and impulses in the back of ascetic behaviors; hermeneutics of asceticism, which appears to be like at texts and rhetorics and their presuppositions; aesthetics of asceticism, which records responses evoked by means of ascetic impulses and practices, in addition to the humanities of ascetic practices themselves; and politics of asceticism, which analyzes the facility dynamics of asceticism, specifically as regards gender, cultural, and ethnic transformations. severe responses to the main papers make sure the concentration upon the topics and unify the dialogue. common addresses on huge philosophical and historical-interpretive concerns recommend the significance of the topic of asceticism for wide-ranging yet severe cultural-critical discussions. An Appendix, Ascetica Miscellanea, contains six brief papers on provocative subject matters no longer with regards to the 4 significant topics, and a panel dialogue at the practices and meanings of asceticism in modern non secular lifestyles and tradition. a particular bibliography and an index also are incorporated. the single accomplished reference paintings on asceticism with a multicultural, multireligious, and multidisciplinary point of view, Asceticism bargains a version not just for an knowing of a most crucial measurement of spiritual existence, but additionally for destiny interdisciplinary learn quite often.

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But the questions themselves have a wider scope, for they are applicable to the Christian West as well as the Christian East, and to non-Christian as well as Christian traditions. A Flight Followed by a Return? In itself anachoresis can be either negative or positive, either world-denying or world-affirming. Often it is the world-denying aspect that seems to be dominant. "9 Arsenius's motive here seems to be THE WAY OF THE A S C E T I C S exclusively his own salvation, and this involves an avoidance of all contact with his fellow humans; he does not appear to be interested in trying to help them.

47 It is reassuring in this connection to find that the earliest and most influential of all Greek monastic texts, the Life of Antony, adopts a markedly positive attitude towards the body. When Antony emerged after twenty years of enclosure within a fort, his friends "were amazed to see that his body had maintained its former condition, neither fat from lack of exercise, nor emaciated from fasting and combat with demons, but he was just as they had known him before his withdrawal. . "48 There is no dualistic hatred of the body here; asceticism has not subverted Antony's physicality but restored it to its "natural state," that is to say, to its true and proper condition as intended by God.

21-22. 6. Leif A. Vaage, in Wimbush, Ascetic Behavior, p. 117. 7. 66, trans. Gail Paterson Corrington, in Wimbush, Ascetic Behavior, p. 149. 8. , trans. Joseph P. Amar, in Wimbush, Ascetic Behavior, p. 75. 9. Arsemus 1, in The Desert Christian: Sayings of the Desert Fathers, The Alphabetical Collection, trans. B. Ward (New York, 1975); also in J. P. , Patrologiaecursus completus: Series Graeca, 65 vols. (Pans, 1857-1866). 10. Arsemus 28. 11. Arsenius 13. 12. Desert Christian . . Alphabetical Collection, Macarius 27: cf.

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Asceticism by Vincent L. Wimbush, Richard Valantasis

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