Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church: The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity

Available

Product Details

Price
$96.60
Publisher
Harvard University Press
Publish Date
Pages
360
Dimensions
6.38 X 1.19 X 9.72 inches | 1.48 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780674011892
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About the Author

Andrea Sterk is Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida. She is the author most recently of Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church: The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity.

Reviews

Sterk offers a study of bishops of the early Christian period and their pursuit of the 'mixed life.' Bishops lived in the world: they traveled from their see to synods; they petitioned court functionaries; they engaged in ecclesiastical politics and corresponded on doctrinal and administrative matters. Some admired the monastic life while simultaneously grappling with worldly affairs, wishing to adopt the discipline and ideals of monks and apply the ethics and asceticism of the monastery to the governance of the church. One such bishop was Basil of Caesarea, who wrote extensively on the need for bishops, like abbots, to be above reproach, to be careful in the selection of subordinates, and not to be forgetful of prayer and instruction. The author provides a well-written survey of Basil's conceptualization of the relevance of the monastic life for church leaders, follows up with a review of the impact of Basilian literature on Gregory of Nyssa, and provides a clear account of the further evolution of the concept of the 'monk as guide' in the thought of Gregory Nazianzus and John Chrysostom. Lively style, no pomposity.-- (11/01/2004)