Title of Chapter or Poem

"Excavating the Excavations" of Early Monastic Education

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Department/School

Religious Studies

Abstract/Excerpt

This paper explores the ways in which narrative caricatures of a-literate rustic monks continue to shape encounters with the material record of early monastic life. It argues that long-standing assertion of widespread monastic resistance to literate pursuits, has not only influenced the identification of monastic school artifacts, but derivatively, the interpretation, fragmentation, classification, and dispersal of such material remains across disparate museum collections, throughout the world. To illustrate, four sets of monastic artifacts, that arguably attest ongoing investment in literate pursuits, are re-examined. Challenging traditional tropes of monastic rusticity, each example demonstrates the value of reading narrative sources in light of broader practice, and in conversation with extant material evidence. Each underscores the usefulness of ‘excavating the excavations’ of early monastic life, with a pedagogical hermeneutic in mind.

Document Type

Chapter

Book Title

Monastic Education in Late Antiquity: The Transformation of Classical Paideia

Editors

Lillian I. Larsen and Samuel Rubenson

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Place of Publication

Cambridge, UK

Publication Date

8-2018

Pages

101-124

ISBN

9781108163842

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1017/9781108163842.006

Keywords

Monasticism, History of Education, Material Culture, Ancient Education

Disciplines

Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | History of Christianity | History of Religion | Intellectual History | Museum Studies

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