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The Possible Influence of Indian Asceticism upon Early Christian Anchoritism

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Title:The Possible Influence of Indian Asceticism upon Early Christian Anchoritism
Authors:Todt, Ronald
Contributors:History (department)
Date Issued:26 Sep 2014
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:The origins of monasticism, surely one of the Christian institutions most important to the history of the West, is of obvious interest both to historians and to laymen. Equally natural is the attempt to compare and if possible integrate this western tradition with the other great fount of monasticism, India. Unfortunately most such efforts (i. e. Garbe's, to name only the most recent) have concentrated upon comparisons between late Buddhist monastic orders and the practices, equally refined, that characterize the European tradition after the syntheses of St. Basil and St. Benedict. Not much has been said about the original form of Western monasticism, Egyptian anchoritism. I propose, then, to examine the possibility of an Indian origin for this earliest form of European monasticism. The problems presented by such an inquiry are many, and chief amoung these are the paucity and scattered nature of sources on the one hand, and an abundant number of interpretations on the other. That there was contact and trade between Alexandria and India is beyond dispute, as it is celebrated in the traditions of both lands. Higher levels of intercourse are less well documented. I will then examine first the contact in general between the two lands, followed by evidence for Roman residence in India and Indian residence in Alexandria, foreign travel to India, the ascetic forces within Egypt, and finally the similarities observed in the two traditions.
Pages/Duration:26 pages
Rights:All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for History

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