June 13 – Dr David Brakke and Early Monasticism

Dr. David Brakke is the Joe R. Engle Chair in the History of Christianity and Professor of History at The Ohio State University. He is at New Melleray today and tomorrow to give us four conferences related to early monasticism in the Egyptian desert.Dr. David Brakke

The specific topics are:

  • Reading the New Testament and Transforming the Self in Evagrius
  • Ethiopian Demons and Monks: Black Skin and the Self in Early Monastic Literature
  • The Rediscovery of a Leading Coptic Monk: Shenoute of Atripe
  • Discernment of Spirits Among Early Egyptian Monks

Dr. Brakke received the B.A. in English from the University of Virginia (1983), M.Div. from Harvard University (1986), and Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale University (1992). Professor Brakke studies and teaches the history and literature of ancient Christianity from its origins through the fifth century, with special interests in asceticism, monasticism, “Gnosticism,” biblical interpretation, and Egyptian Christianity. He is currently a member of an international team of scholars that is producing the first unified critical edition and translation of the works of Shenoute of Atripe (ca.348-465), the leader of a large monastic community in Upper Egypt and the greatest native writer of Coptic.

from Constitutions and Statutes: of the Monks and Nuns of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance

C. 58 – Continuing Formation

After solemn profession and throughout their lives, the brothers continue to learn “the philosophy of Christ”. Continuing formation is to be made available to the whole community … based on the Rule of Saint Benedict and the Cistercian patrimony and is to draw from the riches of biblical, patristic, liturgical, theological and spiritual sciences.