MONASTIC BODIES
Discipline and Salvation in Shenoute of Atripe

CAROLINE SCHROEDER
248pp 5 ILLUS 2007 LIST PRICE: £66.00 P697

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Description
Shenoute of Atripe led the White Monastery, a community of several thousand male and female Coptic monks in Upper Egypt, between approximately 395 and 465. Shenoute’s letters, sermons and treatises -- one of the most detailed bodies of writing to survive from any early monastery -- provide an unparalleled resource for the study of early Christian monasticism and asceticism. This study details his arduous disciplinary code and philosophical structure, including the belief that individual sin corrupted not only the individual body but the entire ‘corporate body’ of the community. Shenoute’s ascetic discourse focused on purity of the body, but he categorised as impure not only activities such as sex but any disobedience and other more general transgressions.