By Vincent L. Wimbush, Richard Valantasis
From meditation and fasting to celibacy and anchoritism, the ascetic impulse has been a permanent and intricate phenomenon all through heritage. supplying a sweeping view of this elusive and debatable point of non secular lifestyles and tradition, Asceticism seems to be on the ascetic impulse from a different vantage element. Cross-cultural, cross-religious, and multidisciplinary in nature, those essays offer a vast old and comparative point of view on asceticism--a topic not often studied outdoors the context of person spiritual traditions. The paintings represents the enter of greater than 40 preeminent students in a variety of fields and disciplines, and analyzes asceticism from antiquity to the current in eu, close to japanese, African, Asian, and North American settings. Asceticism is geared up round 4 significant issues that reduce throughout spiritual traditions: origins and meanings of asceticism, which explores the motivations and impulses in the back of ascetic behaviors; hermeneutics of asceticism, which appears to be like at texts and rhetorics and their presuppositions; aesthetics of asceticism, which records responses evoked through ascetic impulses and practices, in addition to the humanities of ascetic practices themselves; and politics of asceticism, which analyzes the ability dynamics of asceticism, particularly as regards gender, cultural, and ethnic changes. serious responses to the foremost papers make sure the concentration upon the subjects and unify the dialogue. basic addresses on large philosophical and historical-interpretive concerns recommend the significance of the topic of asceticism for wide-ranging yet critical cultural-critical discussions. An Appendix, Ascetica Miscellanea, contains six brief papers on provocative issues now not concerning the 4 significant topics, and a panel dialogue at the practices and meanings of asceticism in modern non secular lifestyles and tradition. a particular bibliography and an index also are incorporated. the single complete reference paintings on asceticism with a multicultural, multireligious, and multidisciplinary viewpoint, Asceticism deals a version not just for an knowing of a most crucial measurement of non secular lifestyles, but in addition for destiny interdisciplinary learn in most cases.
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Extra resources for Asceticism
These are the narrative and conceptual units that acquire meaning through their relation with one another and that, taken together, constitute a tradition. I sometimes refer to the linkage of these units as a chain of signifiers. Concrete practices do not lie outside a tradition but feed back into it in a loop that may overturn a formation or render it more supple. Within this episteme, there are discernible discursive formations—lesser patterns of signification. Thus, no essence of asceticism will be specified; I shall argue that the discursive formations within the episteme of asceticism are bound up with the self-imposition of corporeal and psychic pain or privation; but I shall also argue that not all pain and privation, even when self-generated, is ascetic.
You only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. "3 How much more free is the one who has not been robbed of everything but with ascetic freedom has given it up by his own choice! " Even Symeon's gangrenous foot was from the spiritual point of view an object full of beauty: "He watched his foot as it rotted and its flesh decayed. And the foot stood bare like a tree beautiful with branches. "5 In Greco-Roman antiquity, ascetic practice was regarded equally as the pathway to happiness and joy.
5. 53. 67, trans. Palmer, Sherrard, and Ware, The Philokalia: The Complete Text, vol. 2 (London/Boston, 1981), p. 93. 54. 15, ed. Jean Meyendorff, Spictlegmm Sacrum Lovaniense 30-31 (Louvain, 1959), pp. 367, 723. 55. Practicus 81, ed. Guillaumont, p. " 56. Cf. Owen Chadwick, John Cassian, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 1968), p. 102. 57. On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination 17, trans. , vol. 2, p. 258. 58. Ladder 27, trans. Luibheid and Russell, pp. 263, 269-270. 59. The Diary of a Russian Priest, pp.