Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Book Review: Monastic Bodies: Discipline and Salvation in Shenoute of Atripe

Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Review by Kevin Teo)

Caroline T. Schroeder, Monastic Bodies: Discipline and Salvation in Shenoute of Atripe. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.

Caroline Schroeder's book is arguably more illuminating as a means of discovering how late antique monastic texts affirm the matrix of ideas contained in modern critical theorists such as Foucault than as a window into late antique Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries C.E. via Shenoute of Atripe's writings. Interesting as the book is, its Achilles heel exists where it opens itself up to the potential charge of anachronism. Yet Schroeder's book is immensely promising for scholars in the areas of late antiquity, gender studies and early Christian studies. Another merit of the book lies in the copious translations of passages from the original Coptic manuscripts containing Shenoute of Atripe's sermons and treatises, which have not hitherto been translated into English.

See the above page for the complete review, which looks at each chapter in turn.

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