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The Garb of BeingEmbodiment and the Pursuit of Holiness in Late Ancient Christianity$
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Georgia Frank, Susan Holman, and Andrew Jacobs

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287024

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287024.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

A Question of Character

A Question of Character

The “Labor of Composition” as “Preventative Medicine” in Theodoret of Cyrrhus’s Religious History

(p.124) A Question of Character
The Garb of Being

Rebecca Krawiec

Fordham University Press

The similarity of the accounts of monk’s lives, and the function of this homogeneity, in Theodoret of Cyrrus’s Religious History has been the focus of much scholarship on this work. This chapter applies the concept of character from literary theory to these accounts to add an analysis of how, even within the generic elements of the texts, each monk also has a particular individuality. Since Theodoret presents his text as “preventive medicine,” these monks can also be compared to figures in Galen’s medical case studies, such that monasticism provides a means to a new health. Finally, paying attention to the role of character draws attention to other non-human characters, animals and even God, that Theodoret uses to teach monasticism. Altogether, the History shows the many ways to attain holiness even as all monks share the same human soul.

Keywords:   Galen, literary character, monasticism, Religious History, Theodoret of Cyrrus

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