Description: In the West, monastic ideals and scholastic pursuits are complementary; monks are popularly imagined copying classics, preserving learning through the Middle Ages, and establishing the first universities. But this dual identity is not without its contradictions. While monasticism emphasizes the virtues of poverty, chastity, and humility, the scholar, by contrast, requires expensive infrastructureóa library, a workplace, and the means of disseminating his work. In The Monk and the Book, Megan Hale Williams argues that Saint Jerome was the first to represent biblical study as a mode of asceticism appropriate for an inhabitant of a Christian monastery, thus pioneering the enduring linkage of monastic identities and institutions with scholarship.
Subjects: Early Christian Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins
Review by Jonathan Yates
Citation: Jonathan Yates, review of Megan Hale Williams, The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).
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