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Christianity and Monasticism in Upper EgyptVolume 1: Akhmim and Sohag$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany N. Takla

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789774161223

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774161223.001.0001

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The Ancient Rules of Shenoute's Monastic Federation

The Ancient Rules of Shenoute's Monastic Federation

(p.73) 7 The Ancient Rules of Shenoute's Monastic Federation
Christianity and Monasticism in Upper Egypt

Gawdat Gabra

Hany N. Takla

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter examines the rules and policy statements that occur in all of the books of Shenoute's Canons. The corpus now amounts to more than five hundred rules, that is, short passages that seem to be, or to cite, or to reflect, a monastic rule. Since many, many parts of the Canonshave not survived down to the 21st century, the original, complete text of the Canons must have contained even many more rules. It is suggested that Shenoute's Canons may give us some examples of the kind of urgent rhetoric that was delivered in the great assembly meetings, before an entire congregation, where instructors occasionally made use of the ancient rule books, just as Shenoute does in his Canons. If this is so, it will provide a partial answer to the question raised at the beginning of the chapter—namely, what are Shenoute's Canons?

Keywords:   Shenoute, monastic rules, Canons, ancient rules

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