Middlebury

RELI 0231

The Way of the Ascetics

The Way of the Ascetics: The Making of the Self in Christian Monasticism
The practice of asceticism appeared in ancient Christianity as a movement striving for a deeper spiritual life and connection with the Divine. Men and women withdrew into the wilderness to become fully attuned to God, while engaging more empathetically with their human communities and the natural environment, and serving the poor and socially marginalized. We shall examine how their new model of living challenged the traditional formations of identity and power through cultivating a watchful mind and deepening awareness. We shall also consider its possible relevance for our postmodern world. Readings will include Desert Wisdom anthologies such as “The Philokalia,” and works of American mystic Thomas Merton and novelist Annie Dillard.
Subject:
Religion
Department:
Religion
Division:
Humanities
Requirements Fulfilled:
CMP PHL
Equivalent Courses:
RELI 1036 *
RUSS 0231

Sections

Spring 2021

RELI0231A-S21 Lecture