Ascetics, Authority, and the Church in the Age of Jerome and Cassian
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In his Ascetics, Authority, and the Church in the Age of Jerome and Cassian, first published in 1978, Philip Rousseau presents a survey of asceticism in the western church until about 400, including a selective study of Jerome, and then, moving into the fifth century, a reading of Sulpicius and Cassian. Rousseau explores such societal changes as the eventual triumph of the coenobitic movement and its growing effect within the church, not least on the episcopate. He focuses primarily on the development among ascetics of a certain concept of spiritual authority; on the attraction of that concept for a wider audience; and on its enduring formulation within a literary tradition of great influence.
For this second edition, Rousseau has supplied a new introduction, with extensive bibliographical references, that charts the ways in which scholarship on early Christian asceticism has developed since his compelling and influential original argument.