Sacrifice In The Desert

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Overview

The desert fathers of ancient Egypt are an inherently fascinating, historical phenomenon. Sacrifice in the Desert is an anthropological study of the contemporary spiritual descendents of these monks as they live out their lives in some of the most primitive and remote monasteries of the Sahara Desert. This book is an investigation of the role of these desert ascetics as the cultural center of the Copts of Egypt in their struggle for survival through centuries of oppression and ...
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Overview

The desert fathers of ancient Egypt are an inherently fascinating, historical phenomenon. Sacrifice in the Desert is an anthropological study of the contemporary spiritual descendents of these monks as they live out their lives in some of the most primitive and remote monasteries of the Sahara Desert. This book is an investigation of the role of these desert ascetics as the cultural center of the Copts of Egypt in their struggle for survival through centuries of oppression and marginalization.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761825395
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Father Mark Gruber, O.S.B., a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, is Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Saint Vincent College.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Apologia: Author's Preface Chapter 3 Introduction: The Monastery as an Enclosed Society; The Copts in Egypt; How the Moslems View the Copts and Their Monks; The Fieldwork Chapter 4 Sacrifice in a Historical Perspective: Non-Western Rituals; Biblical/Coptic Sacrifice Chapter 5 Desert Spirituality and Its Symbolic Location: The Monasteries in the Desert; Where Angels Led Them; Desert Asceticism Chapter 6 The Origins of Coptic Monasticism: Byzantine Exploitation and the Emergence of Desert Monks; Coptic Monasticism as Cultural Opposition Chapter 7 Monasticism in Egypt's Modern Era: British Influence; Contemporary Monastic Revival; The Patriarch Enthroned in Exile Chapter 8 Deir Dwellers: A Moment in the Deir; The Monks; In Their Own Words Chapter 9 Forming the Monastic Persona: The Spiritual Father Chapter 10 Behavioral Embodiments of Value: Desert Poetics; The Monastic Regimen Chapter 11 Coptic Culture and Monasticism: The Orientation of Prayer; The Validation of Worship; Coptic Liturgy; Monastic Prayer and Sacrifice; The New Adam Chapter 12 Transcendence of Time and Space: Times Sanctified by Fasting; The Space of Sacrifice Chapter 13 Conclusion Chapter 14 Epilogue: Ethiopian Monasticism: The Issue of Numbers; Grim History; Asceticism; The Ark of the Covenant Chapter 15 Notes Chapter 16 Glossary of Coptic and Liturgical Terms; Bibliography: Cited and Consulted Works Chapter 17 Author Index Chapter 18 Subject Index
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2005

    An Anthropologist Will Lead the Way

    The Copts are usually just forgotten by the academic world, of if they're remembered it's for their early medieval florescence of Alexandrian theologians and desert fathers. Ecclesiastical historians hold the subject in a death grip and use their philological expertise to mute all nonspecialist's commentaries (how many of us speak Coptic, after all). Finally a social scientist, an anthropologist, no less, investigates the contemporary Coptic experience and shows that its culture is still rooted in its special monastic heritage. This book is a fabulous ethnographic account of monasticism itself as well as a penetrating synthesis of the anthropology of religion applied to a nonwestern variant of Christianity. Before an ecclesiastical historian attacks it as an intrusion into their turf I want to applaud it as a beautifully crafted and carefully considered study that supplies a great resource for a subject scarcely ever treated in this way.

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