By John Binns

During this e-book, Binns examines the monastic circulate in Palestine in the course of the Byzantine interval, from the accession of Constantine to the autumn of Jerusalem to the Persians in 614. The monasteries of the desert--in Jerusalem, Egypt, and Syria--played an influential position in Byzantine society, and the "desert fathers" are renowned even this day as key figures within the background of Christian spirituality. Binns makes use of modern resources to debate either how the priests really lived, and their contributions to doctrinal and non secular debates.

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8 For John Moschus' biography, see below. 6 -42century, and so is also unlikely to refer to Paul the author. John's anecdotes come from a later period than the writings of Paul of Elousa and cannot be used as evidence for the lives of these personalities. The Life is an encomium, proclaimed in Theognius' monastery on the anniversary of the death of the founder. The date of its delivery and composition was probably 526, four years after Paul's death, since the Life refers to drought, famine, and earthquake, all of which afflicted the Empire in 525-6.

59( Kyrillos, 116. 4-8 and 25) ( H. , Butler, 84) The third observation on this dossier of literary dependence is that there are some works which Cyril does not seem to have used. For example, the Life of Porphyry attributed to Mark the Deacon, probably written in the early fifth century in Gaza, and Gerontius' Life of Melania, written at the same time in Jerusalem, were saints' Lives with a Palestinian provenance. Yet there is no sign that they influenced Cyril's thinking or vocabulary. In addition, on some occasions a surprising lack of literary dependence can be clearly demonstrated.

67 Kyrillos, 66. 18-67. 20; 198. 7-200. 16. These conflicts are discussed in Ch. 8. ' 68 This development can be seen in the different writings of Eusebius, who saw this change taking place and tried to adjust his thinking accordingly. Eusebius was . . forced to 're-think history' simply because in his scheme of things history had changed with the coming to power of Constantine. The establishment of Christianity as an approved religion and the rule of a Christian Emperor implied a reconsideration of all past history and a developed theory which could provide an explanation in terms of the linear progression of God's promise and its fulfilment.

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Ascetics and Ambassadors of Christ: The Monasteries of Palestine 314-631 (Oxford Early Christian Studies) by John Binns


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