Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery
This book depicts the lives of female monks within a monastery located in upper Egypt in the period 385-464 CE. During this period the monastery was headed by a monk named Shenoute; twelve of his letters to the women under his care survive. Despite various technical textual difficulties, Krawiec is able to use the letters to reconstruct a series of quarrels and events in the life of the White Monastery and to discern some of the key patterns in the participants' relationships to one another within the world as they perceived it. She begins by describing the monks' daily routine and discovers that the monastery's culture was based on uniformity, in both material goods and emotional support, for all the monks, regardless of background. The female monks' relationship with Shenoute constructed and exerted his authority in these conditions, and investigates the degree to which the women accepted it.
- Hardback | 264 pages
- 156 x 232 x 26mm | 557.92g
- 24 Jan 2002
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Krawiec's book is a fascinating and well-written study and a valuable contribution to the several lines of research at the intersection of which her subject is located: Patristics, Gender Studies and the social and religious history of the Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity. Profiting from recent research on the literary and rhetorical analysis of patristic texts, she manages to glean a wealth of information from her reluctant sources. * Orientalia * ... a compelling analysis of the interrelations between power and gender in a particular monastic community in Egypt in Late Antiquity ... very well argued ... full of interesting details. * Orientalia *