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Thorns in the Flesh

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The literature of late ancient Christianity is rich both in saints who lead lives of almost Edenic health and in saints who court ... Weiterlesen
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The literature of late ancient Christianity is rich both in saints who lead lives of almost Edenic health and in saints who court and endure horrifying diseases. In such narratives, health and illness might signify the sanctity of the ascetic, or invite consideration of a broader theology of illness. In Thorns in the Flesh, Andrew Crislip draws on a wide range of texts from the fourth through sixth centuries that reflect persistent and contentious attempts to make sense of the illness of the ostensibly holy. These sources include Lives of Antony, Paul, Pachomius, and others, theological treatises by Basil of Caesarea and Evagrius of Pontus, and collections of correspondence from the period such as the Letters of Barsanuphius and John.Through close readings of these texts, Crislip shows how late ancient Christians complicated and critiqued hagiographical commonplaces and radically reinterpreted illness as a valuable mode for spiritual and ascetic practice. Illness need not point to sin or failure, he demonstrates, but might serve in itself as a potent form of spiritual practice that surpasses even the most strenuous of ascetic labors and opens up the sufferer to a more direct knowledge of the self and the divine. Crislip provides a fresh and nuanced look at the contentious and dynamic theology of illness that emerged in and around the ascetic and monastic cultures of the later Roman world.

Andrew Crislip is Associate Professor and William E. and Miriam S. Blake Chair in the History of Christianity at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Chapter 1. Illness, Sanctity, and Asceticism in Antiquity: Approaches and Contexts
Chapter 2. Asceticism, Health, and Christian Salvation History: Perspectives from the Earliest Monastic Sources
Chapter 3. Paradise, Health, and the Hagiographical Imagination
Chapter 4. Choosing Illness: Illness as Ascetic Practice
Chapter 5. Pestilence and Sainthood: The Great Coptic Life of Our Father Pachomius
Chapter 6. Illness and Spiritual Direction in Late Ancient Gaza: The Correspondence of Barsanuphius and John with the Sick Monk Andrew

List of Abbreviations
Works Cited


Titel: Thorns in the Flesh
Untertitel: Illness and Sanctity in Late Ancient Christianity
EAN: 9780812207200
ISBN: 978-0-8122-0720-0
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (epub)
Herausgeber: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Genre: Religion, Theologie
Anzahl Seiten: 248
Veröffentlichung: 06.09.2012
Jahr: 2012
Untertitel: Englisch
Dateigrösse: 1.1 MB