The papers in this volume derive from the 28th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, held for the Society for the promotion of Byzantine Studies at the Univesity of Birmingham in March 1994. Virtually from the time of their first foundation, the monastic communities of Mt Athos assumed a central position in the world of Orthodox Christianity. The spiritual, and political and economic influence of the Holy Mountain soon transcended the boundaries of the Byzantine empire within which it lay, to take on a supra-national importance and become one of the pillars of Orthodoxy after the fall of the empire. For the historian, the significance of Mt Athos is enhanced by the fact that its archives contain the most substanial body of Byzantine documentation to have survived the Middle Ages, and its libraries, treasuries and buildings have preserved much that has elsewhere been lost. These archives are now largely edited, and investigation of the art and archaeology is yielding substantial evidence. The papers in this volume, by an international set of scholars, embody the fruits of this research. Starting from Athos itself, they embrace the whole phenomenon of Byzantine monasticism, dealing with questions of asceticism, authority, community, economy, enlightenment, fortification, hesychasm, liturgy, manuscripts, music, patronage, scandal, spirituality, and women (to take an alphabetical sample). Together these papers provide a coherent and immediate view of scholarship in the field.
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Anthony Bryer, Emeritus, University of Birmingham, UK, and Mary Cunningham, Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies, UK Kallistos Ware, Bishop of Diokleia, John A. McGuckin, Rosemary Morris, Ch. Bakirtzis, Dirk Krausmuller, Alice-Mary Talbot, Archimandrite Ephrem Lash, Alan Harvey, Nikolaos Oikonomides, Stavros B. Mamaloukos, Elizabeth A. Zachariadou, Robert W. Allison, Alexander Lingas, Peter Burridge, Sotiris Voyadjis, Ploutarchos Theocharides, Gunter Paulus Schiemenz, Bernadette Martin-Hisard, Paschalis M. Kitromilides.Review:
'For the student of Athos in particular and of Eastern Christian spirituality and monasticism more generally, this book is a most welcome addition to a large and growing bibliography.' Religious Studies Review, Vol. 24, No. 3 'the articles by Ware, Morris, and Krausmuller will prove to be crucial to our proper understanding of the early history of Mount Athos, and those by Oikonomides, Zachariadou, Allison, and Candea will prove equally important for the late and post-Byzantine periods.' Speculum
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