I.B.Tauris History of Monasticism
The Eastern Tradition
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
This essential companion to the corresponding I.B.Tauris volume on the western tradition thus begins with St Anthony, the 'Father of Monks', who retreated with his disciples into the scorched Eastern Desert. Anthony inspired the former Roman conscript Pachomius (292-348 CE) to establish a monastery for men and women and devise a formal rule. Such community monasticism then brought cells of hermits together into a federalised structure where property was held in common under an abbot or abbess. John Binns shows how the Orthodox community of Mount Athos and the western Rule of St Benedict were alike strongly influenced by the austerity and sanctity that began with the original Desert Fathers and also by the organisational efforts of Pachomius. This vivid, authoritative account traces the four main branches of eastern Christianity, up to and beyond the Great Schism of 1054.