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Grant number like: FB-54444-09

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Columba A. Stewart
St. John's University, Collegeville (Collegeville, MN 56321-2000)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010

Tracing Monastic Culture

Christian monasticism, like its counterparts in other religions, has employed a broad range of media and practices intended to reorient its adherents according to an overarching religious worldview and then to maintain their engagement over the course of a lifetime. This carefully constructed environment can reasonably be described as "monastic culture." Previous studies of early or medieval Christian monastic culture have focused almost entirely on the formative value of texts. While texts may hold a privileged place in Christian monastic culture, they constitute only part of a larger, more intricate weaving of practical and aesthetic threads that, together, create the environment in which the texts themselves are appropriated and interpreted. This project will consider the question of "monastic culture" and then explore its constitutive elements as evident in Christian monasticism between the third and early ninth centuries in both east and west.