In his Ascetics, Authority, and the Church in the Age of Jerome and Cassian, first published in 1978, Philip Rousseau presents a survey of asceticism in the western church until about 400, including a selective study of Jerome, and then, moving into the fifth century, a reading of Sulpicius and Cassian. Rousseau explores such societal changes as the eventual triumph of the coenobitic movement and its growing effect within the church, not least on the episcopate. He focuses primarily on the development among ascetics of a certain concept of spiritual authority; on the attraction of that concept for a wider audience; and on its enduring formulation within a literary tradition of great influence.
For this second edition, Rousseau has supplied a new introduction, with extensive bibliographical references, that charts the ways in which scholarship on early Christian asceticism has developed since his compelling and influential original argument.
"A scholarly, well-documented and extremely interesting work...[A] most valuable contribution towards understanding the ascetic movement in late antiquity."---Journal of Theological Studies
"Rousseau captures an essential turning point in the history of western spirituality and shows how the influence of eastern ideas made the crucial difference."---Classical World
"Ascetics, Authority, and the Church is preeminently a book about literature in its historical setting; a skillful demonstration of how the creation of a written tradition... was central to the process of bridging the gap between the charismatic power of the holy man and the settled monastic community, of preserving the essential tradition of spiritual authority through changing patterns of ascetic life."---Journal of Roman Studies
- Religion + Beliefs
- Monasticism, Christianity / General, Christianity / History
- May 31, 2010
- May 31, 2010
- Philip Rousseau