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« Thursday November 15, 2012 »
Start: 11/15/2012 16:00

For Fall 2012 The James W. Richard Lectures Present:

Peter Brown

Peter Brown

Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History, Emeritus, Princeton University

"Treasure in Heaven": Wealth, Labor and the "Poor Among the Saints."Christian Giving from Paul to Pachomius

Lecture 3: "The Work of the Hands...the Glory of Egypt": Monks and Work in Fourth Century Egypt

The third lecture concludes the theme by pointing to the exceptional nature of the Egyptian decision to link monasticism with labor.  Monks in Egypt were supposed to be self-sufficient, and to be engaged in real work.  Professor Brown will examine the assumptions that lay behind that decision.   The fact that Western monasticism (up to the days of Saint Francis) opted heavily for this view of the monk makes it hard for us to realize that the "angelic," Syriac option was just as important in late antiquity.  Indeed, with the spread of Buddhism in India, Central Asia and China, an ascetic elite supported by the alms of the faithful was the norm.  If it were not for the Egyptian resistance to this idea, mendicant monasticism might have become general in Christianity also -- and Europe would have been a "Land of the Begging Bowl."

Tuesday, November 13th - Remember the Poor
Wednesday, November 14th - In the Likeness of the Angels   
Thursday, November 15th - The Work of the Hands...the Glory of Egypt

All lectures in the Harrison Auditorium at 4 p.m. each afternoon with a catered reception following each lecture.


Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

tel: (434) 924-7147; fax: (434) 924-7891
office: M-F 8 am to 4:30 pm
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