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Dorotheos of Gaza and the Discourse of Healing in Gazan Monasticism

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Table of Contents

Contents: Monasticism in Gaza - The Discourse of Healing and Gazan Monasticism - Healing in the Drama of Salvation - Virtue in the Monastic Life - the Ascetic Body.

About the Author

Kyle A. Schenkewitz holds a PhD in historical theology from Saint Louis University. He is currently Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University and serves at The Church of St. Michael and St. George.


"Kyle A. Schenkewitz revives interest in the life and teaching of Dorotheos of Gaza as an innovative theologian and spiritual guide. By combining medical and philosophical perspectives of health and healing in the ancient world, Schenkewitz explores the importance of the integration of body and soul in the discourse of the monastic school of Gaza as representative of early Christianity. Dorotheos's distinctive contribution was an ascetic spirituality that emphasized the health of both body and soul as a unity. This work establishes new trajectories for the study of ancient monastic and ascetic practice." (Kenneth B. Steinhauser, Professor, Saint Louis University, Missouri) "In this fresh, contextualized examination of Dorotheos of Gaza's collected works, Kyle A. Schenkewitz explores how Dorotheos created a new understanding of healing in monastic communities. Parting ways from much of Christian monastic thought, and certainly from his Gazan setting, Dorotheos views the monk's body as the positive locus of health because of its position as the soul's home. Schenkewitz analyzes Dorotheos's corpus in its Gazan monastic context by comparing it to the letters of Barsanuphius and John, the Asceticon of Isaiah of Scetis, and the Apophthegmata Patrum. Through his comparative literary analysis, Schenkewitz lucidly reveals Dorotheos's unique contributions to Gazan monastic thought. In reading Dorotheos's works through the lens of his position as the consummate physician, Schenkewitz widens our understanding of how Christianity appropriated Greco-Roman medicine to understand the ascetic body. This volume will stand alongside recent literature on monastic medicine and Gazan asceticism as a key analysis of Dorotheos and his novel medical theology of the ascetic body." (Zachary B. Smith, Resident Assistant Professor of Theology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska)

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