Trinity College

History and Sources of Monasticism in Egypt and the Middle East

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Fall 2016
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Since the 3rd century Egyptian monks developed a fervent ascetic movement that spread across Egypt. Hermits, anchorites and monks, all passionate about dedicating their lives to God, created living spaces responding to their spiritual and material daily needs, from the recluse cave to the most sophisticated monastic complex.

The History of Egyptian Monasticism will present a historical overview on the origins of monasticism based on written sources. The comparison of these sources with the outcomes of archaeological excavations will reveal the relation between spiritual and material aspects of monastic life. Samples of published literary sources produced for different monastic orders such as sermons, canons and biographies will be studied.