American Academy of Religion

Foucault, The Fathers, and Sex Author(s): Elizabeth A. Clark Source: Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Winter, 1988), pp. 619641 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 03/04/2013 04:54
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LVI/4 Academy of Religion. Journal of theAmerican

Elizabeth A. Clark





AFTER MICHEL WROTEthe firstvolume of his History FOUCAULT ofSexuality,he discoveredthat he could not adequatelytreatsexualityin modem history without first returning to antiquity. This discovery necessitated a change in approach and so slowed his progress that volumes two and three did not appear for another eight years (Lloyd: 25). The differencein tone between volumes one and two is evident to even the casual reader: the sweeping generalizationsand scanty documentationof volume one have been supersededby a respectfulapproach to texts.' Indeed, so carefullydoes Foucaulttiptoe from text to text in the subsequentvolumes that admirersof his previouswork may find his style plodding. More important,they will find that Foucault'searlier interest in developing an "archaeological" theoryof discoursehas been modified attention to the social drastically by practicesthat link power, and the and Rabinow:xxiv-xxv, 56, 98, 102body (Dreyfus knowledge, 175). 105, 112, Foucaultwas impelled to undertakehis antiquarian journey by his desire to challenge the prevalent contemporary theory that sexual repressionoriginatedin the seventeenth century as an accompaniment to the rise of capitalism,and that from this repressionwe have allegedly freed ourselves.2 Against just now, and with much self-congratulation, this conventionalassessment,Foucaultarguesthat the earlymodem and modem eras saw not increasedrepression,but increasedincitementsto sexual discourse. In this period, for example, the "problem"of population was discovered; children's masturbationwas for the first time regarded as dangerous and in need of control; homosexuality was invented as a permanentpersonalitystate;the medical and the psychiatric examinationthat requiredpatients to talk about sex was developed (1980a:12-13, 23-30, 38, 42-45, 63). In all these areas, speech and
ElizabethA. Clarkis John Carlisle Kilgo Professorof Religion at Duke University,P.O. Box 4735 Duke Station, Durham,NC 27706. 1So noted also by Halperin(277). 2Foucault warns his unwary readers that "saying yes" to sex does not mean (as is popularly thought) that we have "said no" to power (1980a:157)..


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pedagogical.Foucault argued. 63. within which in fact psychoanalysisand Freudfigure as episodes" (1980b:211-212).3 Foucaultdescribed his projectfor the History in various of Sexuality He for that he to aimed how the undersaid. For not Sexuality is there a truthabout the self thatwe believe relatesto sex. Foucault'scomment in an interview(1980b:187) that "the whole point of the projectlies in a re-elaboration of the theory of power.these "discoveries" and techniques were not first employed repressively against the lower classes as a means of control. nineteenth-century medical handbooks for assistance--but.however. His project. Rather than standing subject focus exclusively on mechanisms of power and their relation to language. he turned back to seventeenth-century pastoral manuals. vigor. to to and eighteenth-century pedagogical treatises.they were developedby the bourgeoisieand applied to themselvesas a means of enhancingtheir own life. most fully realized in psychoanalysis?4To answer his question. he came to place the origin of the pastoral. 4The question reveals that Foucault had by no means abandoned his interest in power.620 Journalof the American Academyof Religion writing about sex greatly expanded. rather. he wished to constructa "hermeneuticsof the self " (1985a:5-6) in which he would explore the ever-changingexperienceof the self as a sexual being throughoutWestem history (1981:5). 159). as he had in some of his earlierbooks. he asked. and medical techniques in the monastic practice of confession (1980b:211.Foucaultasked his readersto examine with him "the machinery of confession. had modem people come to believe that the deepest truthaboutthemselveslay "in the regionof their sex?" (1980b:214). cf. for he claims that it is discourse itself that links power and knowledge (1980a:100). explore of the self as a of desire had unfolded." 5Cf. Denying that Freud representeda cataclysmicbreak with all past thinking and writing on sexuality. example. Moreover. 1980a:19-20. Foucaultasks. did sexual practices become transmuted into discourse about sex (1980b:210). So keen was Foucault'sinterestto examine how our understandingof sexualitywas related to our quest for "truth"that he originallyplanned to name his series Sex and Truth. we also only believe that this sexual truthmust be talked about. How. This content downloaded from 139. Dreyfusand Rabinow:173-178. we must understandearly Christianascetic theory. as Marxist analysis would posit. as his knowledge of Christian antiquitygrew.112 on Wed.5.he believed."it concerns the bourgeoisie'sattemptto usurp prerogatives of the nobility (1980a:128-129).had a furtheraim. ways. The word "confession" he began to 3Foucaultemphasizes that if this phenomenon representsanything about "class struggle. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and progeny (1980a:120-138).18.5 To understandFreud.not TheHistoryof (1980b:209). How.

from the published volumes and from essays written and interviews given shortly before Foucault died. Roman advice abouthowto optimizehealthandhappiness is transformed intoabsolute rulesabouthow to behaveto attainsalvation. What would have been Foucault's major theme in the projected fourth volume? In a review of volume three (which concerns Rome). and so purity.TheConfessions of the Flesh. because it is notaphrodisia.Tertullian. Unfortunately. By returning to Christian antiquity and beyond.(1987:31) Foucaulthimself gives more explicit hints: In the Christian book-I meanthe book aboutChristianity!-I try to show thatall this ethics[of the Greeks and the Romans] has changed. Afterhis retreatto study ancient texts. Augustine.andso on. (1983b: 242) In the Christian of sexualbehavior. d' assujettissement Themode is now divine law. becausenow self-examination takes the formof self-deciphering.112 on Wed. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . By then.for Foucaultdied in 1984. Foucaultprojected that in the four volumes to follow he would bring the readerto the early twentieth century and examine the continuities and discontinuities between Plato's Athens and Freud'sVienna. andSex Clark: Foucault.5. Foucault thought that he could both overturn the so-called "repressive hypothesis" and explain how the human experience of sex had shifted its locus of intensity from sexual acts to "sex in the head" (1981:5). And I thinkthateventhe ethicalsubstance has changed. flesh. the project will neverbe realized. Whetherthese will be publishedunder the title projected. butdesire. Its of subject matterwas classical Greece. 621 apply to "all those proceduresby which the subjectis incited to produce a discourseof truthabout his own sexualitywhich is capable of having effects upon the subject himself" (1980b:215-216). threevolumes had been published. translatedinto English as TheUse ofSexuality Pleasure.concupiscence. historianJohn Boswell predicts the thesis of the next volume: thispreoccupation withthewell-being of self thatFoucault haddetailed the Romans the volume Boswell becomes the basis [in reviewed] among fora Christian ethicsin whichthe salvation of the individual soulis the fulcrum of moralactivity andthought. on. Foucault'ssecond volume of TheHistory was published. not by the aphrodisia.John Cassian. The asceticism has changed. Nonetheless. and materialsfor a fourthvolume on early Christianitywere being assembled.18.still is unclear. butby a domainof desiresthatlie This content downloaded from 139.TheFathers. we glean some impression of the figures on whom he intended to dwell: Clement of Alexandria. Because the telos has changed:the telos is immortality. the ethicalsubstance was morality to be defined.

My argument will be that despite the obvious discontinuities between pagan and Christiansexual understandings.such unitiesin-diversities. their desideratum was the creationof a beautifullife-a desideratum. This content downloaded from 139. The free male of the upper class (for it is he of whom Foucaultwrites) governedhimself throughan "aestheticsof 6That Foucaultmakes no provisionfor the influence of Jewish sexual ethics on early Christianity will strike students of the period as an odd omission.5. "How. He would ask. 82). To be sure. To note that the Romanmaritalethic-as characterized by Foucault-bears many resemblances to its Christian counterpartconstitutes no new early Christianasceticism.622 Academyof Religion Journalof the American hiddenamongthe mysteries of the heart. In each volume.he would in these themes as he progressedfromvolume to explore transmutations volume. butof a recognition of the lawand an obedience to pastoral Hencethe ethicalsubject was to be authority. modified. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1981:5).and diversified"(1985a:31-32. Morestriking.. from the Golden Age of Athens to the Golden Age of psychoanalysis.and by a set of actsthatare as to theirformandtheirconditions. that is.Subjection was carefully specified to takethe formnot of a savoir-faire. for males of a certainclass (1985a:2. the forms of self-relationship(and the practicesof the self that were associatedwith them) were defined. and the understandingof wisdom (1985a:21).he would look at four themes: the life of the body.The very organizationof his project suggested his interest in the continuities.18. II According to Foucault's reading of the Greeks.are the ways in which the goals Foucault ascribed to the Greeks' sexual self-cultivation(e. As he announced in TheUse of Pleasure.or modification of codes. he proposed. Foucault envisioned that he would trace such transmutations.112 on Wed. not so muchby the perfect characterized ruleof the self by the self in the exerciseof a viriletype of activity. cf.relationshipsbetween men.we must returnto Foucault'sGreeksand Romans.transfer. BeforeexploringChristian themes. the institution of marriage. transmuted. Foucault also wished to note the continuitiesbetween pagan and Christiansexual understanding.g. however. In subsequentvolumes.perhaps. as by self-renunciation and a whose model was to in be (1985a:92) purity sought virginity. given the continuity. "a stylizationof attitudesand an aestheticsof existence" [1985a:92])reappear.6 there are continuities of theme even beyond those Foucaulthimself had recognized.

Accordingto the ancient Greek ethic. in the way one distributedthem. the regulation of sexual acts ("the use of pleasures.112 on Wed. not sexual practices per se of the free male's sexual life was (1985a:114).a "passive"partnerof either sex was consonant with his "moral mastery"of the self (1985a:84-5. In accordance with such an ethic. 99-108.Clark: Foucault. a position from which one could dominate otherswithin both the household and the largersociety. Quantityand circumstances were the decisive factors. specifically.7 This sexual ethic. Foucaultnotes how many Greektexts that discuss sexual acts. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 192). Foucault claims-"but on certain formal principles in the use of pleasures. cf. so long as a man were the active sexual partner. This "use of pleasures" did not concern itself with distinguishing forbidden from permitted sexual acts."in Foucault'sphrase) was necessary (1985a:53).The Fathers.5. 97). the correcttiming of the act.and Sex 623 existence"( matterednot whether the other were a male or a female. He attemptedto create"a way of life whose moralvalue did not depend eitheron one's being in conformity with a code of behavior. in the hierarchyone respected"(1985a:89).18.was not universalizable. 89. in the limits one observed. To enhance one's position as a free male (1985a:79. nor was it meant to be. 188. the creation of the self. and the search for truth revolve around the theme of pederasty. Foucaultargues. sexual concerned only two areas: "excess" (as just noted) and "immorality" leads Foucaultto a (1985a:44-47). of pederasty. cf. how could a free boy. but rather with the prudent calculation of "more and less" (1985a:116. destined to be a citizen who governedthe polis. The problem of pederastylay elsewhere: namely. 1983b. This content downloaded from 139. allow himself to have been earlierthe objectof pleasure. 229).such as that of food and drink (1985a:50-5. to have been dominatedand penetratedby another with whom he did not share (according to the 7Halperin:282-283. it was not for hoi polloi. one's statusin relationto the partner(1985a:54). but for those elite males who wished to shape for themselves more brilliant lives than those of their fellow men (1985a:62). The theme of "passivity" "passivity" discussion of Greek homosexual practices. 53-54). A prudentself-regulation in accordwith other types of self-regulation he practiced. Considerationshould be taken of one's need. 1983b:231).no doubt because it was in pedagogicalpracticethat sex and "truth"were linked (1980a:61).or on an effort of purification"-both distinctively Christiancontributionsto the development of sexual ethics.

Foucaultnotes that even when pederasty is discussed in the Roman texts. and as Foucaultnotes. and one who is penetrated. See note 13 below. there was much less concern than in Greek writings to center the "problem"of sexual discourse around the topic of boys (1985a:189-190). 91985a:184: "The wife's virtue constitutedthe correlativeand the proof of submissive behavior. must restricther sexual activityto the maritalbed. Whereas the wife. For example. but because only thus could he exhibit his self-mastery (1983a:151. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 31-32). For one. 1986:29. always under the husband's control. The modificationsthat occurredin Roman sexual ethics were several. to the enhancementof his own prestige(1985a:82-83). 223). 12DiscussingPseudo-Lucian's Affairs of the Heart. 1985a: 212: can the boy achieve self-masteryin not yielding to others? See also 1983b:232233. to his self-cultivation. Ancient Greek marriages likewise manifested a dissymmetry of power. e. Plato'sencouragement to long-termabstention "could not easily be accommodatedin an ethics organized around a search for the right use of pleasure" (1985a:245-246). although he makes much less of the changed historical circumstances than we might expect. cf. who dominates. 204). the man's austeritywas part of an ethics of self-delimitingdomination. and who complies (1985a:215.'0 Accordingto Foucault.624 Academyof Religion Journalof the American received wisdom) a common pleasure?'(1985a:220-221. the sexual regulationof the husband restedon quite anotherprinciple: if he chose to restrainhis sexual pleasures.165)..g.18." (For example.9 His obligationwas to himself alone. In texts 8Cf. The foretaste of the future-a future of "indefinite abstention"for the sake of truth-comes only with Plato. Foucault convincingly argues that there was thus for elites in ancient Athens a certain isomorphism between sexual and social relations: whether in the household or in thepolis.who demands. but of a differentsort. the descriptiveterms are taken from the model of the marriagerelation (1986:225). he nowhere deals extensivelywith the ethical theoryof the Old Stoics. 11As noted by critics. This content downloaded from 139. who is commanded.12now accordeda centralityit never held in classical Athens (1986:192.112 on Wed. therewas alwaysone who penetrates.5. Lloyd:28.8 The problem thus lay not with the act per se (as it later would in Christian sexual ethics). but with possible obstacles to the boy's self-realization.the breakdownof the polls in the Hellenistic and Romaneras occasionedsocial changes that recastthe formulationof sexual ethics (1986:84)." 10That Foucault underestimatedascetic trends in ancient Greek philosophy seems was out of no obligationto his wife. the break in the isomorphism of public and private life is mentioned only briefly[1986:81-97 passim]).

112 on Wed. 448. The hero and heroine'sabstentionremindsus of what was shortlyto come. claims Foucault. Both Zeno and Chrysippus.and Sex 625 datingfrom the second centuryB. Foucault'streatmentof Christianmaterialsrequiresa more energetic "leap of faith" than the historianwould desire.13 ual act is compared to disease (e. III. Christian asceticism. and abnormal sexual states (e. 443. but were universalizable:all humans can follow the promptingsof reason and "nature. both husband and wife will restrict their sexual relation (in theory at least) to the spouse (1986:173. Foucaultcharacterizesthe abstention of these couples in the same words with which he describesChristianasceticism: it "is modeled much more on virginalintegritythan on the political and virile dominationof desires" (1986:228). satyriasis)ratherthan regimensfor healthy sexual functioning are stressed (1986:109-111. and these promptings suggest a more egalitarianmodel of marriage.for example.The Fathers. 167). the personalrelationshipof the marriedcouple receives major attention (1986:148). epilepsy). he is led to posit a largergap between Greek sexual ethics and later Romanand Christianones than seems warranted. companionshipand mutual care are stressedby Hellenistic and Roman writers as central to the marital relation (1986:151 [MusoniusRufus]. With the Roman relocationof pleasure in the marriagepartnership went a greatersexual austerity. 182). 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .lies in the themes of the Hellenistic Romances: the virginityof the lovers is broughtto the fore.g. not with boys (1986:180).E."whatevertheir social status (1986:67).g.E. A man's intense erotic relationshipis to be enjoyed with his wife. 113-117). these new marital patterns were meant not only for elites who wished to createbeautifullives.5.Clark: Foucault.. Accordingto Roman writers. than of the classical Greeks (1986:177Foucaultbelieves was characteristic the now detail Medical texts dangersof sexual activity: the sex180). accordingto Foucault. Another sign of growing ascetic trends. Moreover. Indeed. for only scatteredreferences to specific Christianwritersand their theories can be found in his work published to date (1980b:211).C. not just to himself (1986:148-149). called for the eradicationof the passions: SVF I.a strongertendency to the second centuryC. This content downloaded from 139. the model of restraintthat he assigns to Athenian males.18. There is to be a sharedpleasurebetween husband and wife. In addition to procreation. the husband owes respect to the wife. The "Greek" model of male dominance and female submission is here replaced by one of mutuality. Yet Foucault'scomments in his Foucaultoverlooksascetic tendencies in Greekphilosophy that influenced later Roman 13Because philosophers as well as the church fathers. (especially those by Plutarchand the later Stoics).. 205-215.

enable the commentatorto attempt at least a modest reconstructionof his proposed argument." so central to classical Greek ethics. he states. 1985b:23). 1983b:242). but the problem of one's solitude."In a monastic setting. Foucault isolates the changes in sexual ethics broughtby Christianteaching. In a variety of ways. we might add. masturbation and "wayward thoughts"are held as centralmoral problems (1986:140. although desire was to be excluded in practice. 1985b:18-22). not prompted by desire."Christiansemphasize purity. 1981:5. Ideally. as the experienceof sex shifts awayfrom acts with other desire of the individual.5. replace the "male" ideal of domination of self (1985a:82. 1986:29. Now. Let me review them briefly.626 Journalof the American Academyof Religion three volumes of TheHistoryof Sexuality. Classical of austerity which were a meansto self-mastery techniques weretransformed intotechniques whosepurpose of wasthepurification desireandthe elimination of gained a theoretical importancein earlyChristianas the seat of the of sex (1983b:238.the raising up of one's sexual thoughtsfor analysis and "discrimination. Foucaultposits. posits. For early Christians.112 on Wed.18. Yet. 1981:5. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . First. is replaced by an ethic of self-renunciation. the "aestheticsof the self.Foucault of sex. 248).an essential people and towardthe privately-felt new task is defined: self-examination. 1981:5)-and penetrationof others. Unwilled sexual desires and their accompanyingbodily movements are understoodto be inflicted upon a passive subject: the virile and activesexual ideal of the interviews. ity "problem" He writes: 1985a:254). even a married couple's sexual acts-the only permitted ones-should be "neutral.not mere selfregulation (1981:5. such analysis often involved the advice of an elder monk to a younger one (1983b:242. (1983b:255) In their fear of "pollution. 1983b:247. has given way to a passive and "feminine"understanding and a "female" intactness. 92. pleasure should be completely excluded from consideration. Physical integrity paradigm.the problematiccenter of discussion shifts from the realm of sexual acts and the pleasurederivedfrom them to desire itself.the thematization concerns acts with another longer person. Such deciphermentand elucidationof thoughts were deemed essential by the monks for ascetic purification This content downloaded from 139. so thatausterity becamean end in itself. Foucault notes. 242-243. accordingto Christianwriters. Moreover." that is. for the firsttime. And. and in essays. of sexual issues by Christianwritersno Ultimately.the "truth"of the self can be known only by giving it up (1983b:245.

they questioned whether a woman's body could be touched. EarlyChristianasceticism. My firstqualificationof Foucault's taining with the desert monks.11:26-28). 10. II:1026-1027). p. 1985:313-317 on confessionals. inAegypto seniorum (= Vitae I.'8 sexually. I propose severalmodifications to Foucault'sapproach.on the one hand. thus providesthe locus for an essential stage in the developmentof sexual discourse.21 and on a theoreticalone.Christianscodified the sexual acts that were deemed necessaryto submit to ecclesiasticalauthority(1985a:92)." The textual evidence rathersuggests that this upward displacementof the sexual was not always fully achieved. an importantstep in the developmentof the confessional(describedas a procedure "for the extortion of truth" [1980b:217]). Latin translation.CSCO 107=Scriptores Coptici 11. Last. Palladius. Manywomen inhabitedthe desert and many others came on pilgrimagesto see the holy men living there. 627 (1985a:70)-and by Foucault. and the insights of the psychoanalyst's couch. This content downloaded from 139. 257.112 on Wed. 19Palladius (?). 18-19). pp.16 They tell stories of ascetics who were accused (falsely) of impregnating village girls. 7 (PL 73.II.Macariusof Egypt 1 (PG 65. TheSecondBookof the Histories of the Fathers24 (Stephana). 11). Verba monachorum patrumV) 15Historia 2.19They wonderedat Amoun. accordingto Foucault. 1:400-403). we have not entirely is modest: even argument left the realm of sexual activityfor "sex in the head. who lived in celibacyfor eighteen years with the wife he had been forced to marryin his youth. 21Verba seniorum Lausiaca 68 (Butler. and Answers 18Questions of the Brethren of the Fathers27 (Martinyana) (Budge. 16VitaPachomii27 (Bohairic) (CSCO 89=Scriptores Coptici 7. Lausiaca 8 (Butler. III As a student of early Christianasceticism. to of the desert fathers Egypt.and Sex TheFathers. 17Apophthegmata patrum. Ratherthan canvas the vast corpus of I focus my discussion on materialsperearlyChristianascetic literature. 68 (PL 73. 873). 260). whether a monk could lie with a 14Cf. 4. 7-8 (SubsHag53. (Budge. for later practices involving discourse about sex.'4 He sees such as pivotal between Greekand Roman sexdevelopmentsin Christianity ual theorizing. 858-859).Payer.20 On a practical level. Clark: Foucault.5.18.Historia 163-164).17 of of monks who did "fall" monks who receivedproposals of marriage. on the other. in Foucault'sscheme. (= Vitae patrumV) 4. Historia 20Palladius. The desert fathersworrywhetherto meet these female admirers"5and whether they should visit female relativesliving in nearbyconvents. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 26.

28In addition. Central to Evagrius'ascetic theology is the monk's cultivation of apatheia. Among the ascetic masters whose teaching informed Cassian's theory was EvagriusPonticus. idem.27 the downfallof the monk.112 on Wed."poses constantproblems for these inhabitantsof the desert.22For the monks in Egypt. but the monks' "theoretical"discussions of sexual desire. I would argue. 498. The human memory."26It is feeling that leads to desire and desire that leads to pleasure. 23Whethersuch concentrationon the sexual theme was characteristicof the Coptic-speaking monks or only of the Greek-educatedmonastic theorists remains a grave historical problem. 24ForArmandVeilleux's assessmentof Evagrius' importance.18. and they hum suggestivemelodies in their 22JohnCassian.23 Thus one of Foucault's central subjectswas to be John Cassian.passionlessness or "lackof feeling. Evagrius'own words would give him a key: "The demons strive againstmen of the world chiefly throughtheir deeds. 502). Foucaultis correctin his assertion that the majorityof texts center on control of one's mind and desire.Practicos 25Evagrius Ponticus. De oratione46 (PG 79. to be sure.1"25 Yet both Evagrius' and Cassian'sdiscussions. for the most part by means of thoughts.who lived in the Egyptian desert for at least seven years and later reportedthe advicegiven by the elders to him and his companion Germanus (Chadwick:13-19). 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This point may seem carping. 574. 678). 26Evagrius 4 (SC 171. Ponticus. Ponticus. 33: 87 (SC 171. he surely would have treatedhim in volume four since Evagriuswas the leading "ascetic theorist" of early monastic Christianity(Chadwick:92-94). idem.sexual activitybecame transformedinto sexual discourse.628 Academyof Religion Journalof the American naked virgin and have his heart remain peaceful (the experiment was not recommended). 220). but in the case of monks. not on sexual acts with another.such as those mentioned above.contain themes that call into question too easy a passage from the Egyptiandesert to Freud'sVienna. 578). Conlationes 15. since the ascetic literature that most interested Foucaultwas not so much the sayings of and the stories about the desert fathers.see his essay. I thank Coptic scholar David Johnson for remindingme of the discrepancyin the sources (private correspondenceof 10/1/87).5. 608). 10 (SC 54. This content downloaded from 139. Practicos34 (SC 171.Practicos 2.with its "thoughts. 1176). 48 (SC 171.Practicos 27Evagrius 28EvagriusPonticus. sex was not something that had to do onlywith oneself in one's solitude-although. demons attackthe monks with phantasmsto spur their lust. however. "The Originsof Egyptian Monasticism."in Skudlarek:48.24Foucaultcould have drawn much support from Evagriusand Cassian for his argumentthat in the monasteries of late antiquity.and althoughFoucaultdoes not discuss Evagrius in his now-published works.

29 629 From these mental or demonic suggestions. Evagriusdoes not supportthe notion that examining one's thoughts and desires necessarily leads to discussion about them (except.Practicos 32Evagrius 50 (SC 171. 510. 628. Conlationes 12.and Sex ears. 20. 11. idem. 19. 132). 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 9 (SC 64. Admonitio Syriac:126-127.Clark: Foucault. That the topic was of concern to some intellectual Christians is shown in Augustine's Contra Academicos. 144). 61) and Chrysippus(SVFIII. 56.3' In thismuch. 68-70). 554). 924-925). 3. 4. 13. insofar as Evagrius himself wrote down his insights). idem.36 Indeed. 6 (SC 54. 512. Scriptural forhis thesis wouldhavefoundsupport sleep.Foucault This content downloaded from 139.37Thus Evagriusand Casin parabolaset in 4. SC 64. 9 (SC 109. 54. Syriac: 134. Accordingto Athanasius.35 cess can be: when an ascetic recollects his own sins or ponders the "falls"of another. 630. 121-122).dwelling on one's "thoughts"can be outrightlydangerous. 35JohnCassian.112 on Wed. 648). Colloquium 31Evagrius magistri cum discipulo eius (Muyldermans.French:158). De institutis coenobiorum.33 John Cassian. Ponticus.Practicos 33Evagrius that the hermit note down his thoughts and the "movementsof his soul": VitaAntonii55 (PG 26.34 who will teach the he also is aware of how counterproductive the projuniors remedies.32 Although Evagriusadvises the monk to note when these "thoughts"arise and subside and with what associationsthey come to mind. He advises instead that the monk submit these matters to Christ and await an explanationfrom him. Foucaultdiscusses this passage in 1983a:3-23. discussing such subjects with an elder or even hearingScriptural verses abouthuman generationcan constitute temptation and lead a monk astray. 444. 29Evagrius 30EvagriusPonticus.Expositio paraenetica Proverbia Solamonis 6 (Muyldermans. he does not suggest that the monk talk about them. Syriac:123-124. 7. 64 (SC 171.18.Practicos 8. 11. Ponticus. Conlationes verses about women when the junior monks were present). For example. too. and.30 If monks stay on guardwhile they are awake.Practicos 55.he may feel a delight and an assent that run contrary to his struggleagainst sin. from there. influenced the ScepticalAcademy. 658). 231. 18.5. Ponticus.Antony recommended Ponticus. 17 (SC 109. of course. 17. 614). 5 (Muyldermans. became wellknown throughthe Sceptic teachingon epochi. monks must withhold assent.The Fathers. 632. SC 64.for they impel the ascetic to a state of lust. 36JohnCassian. 132. Practicos75 (SC 171. Evagrius' advice on self-examination. 22. there is a better chance that their minds and bodies will stay pure while they in Evagrius'writings. The withholding of assent was an important epistemologicalissue as early as Zeno (SVFI. 177). To the contrary. Conlationes institutis coenobiorum 11. recognizedthis problem. 23 (SC 171. however. 16.French:156). Althoughhe explicitly counsels young monks to confess to their elders. De 34John Cassian. 662). 71 (SC 171. French: 163). 624. leads to some emphases different from Foucault's. 16 (SC 54. 54) (the elders omitted reading 37John Cassian.

242-243). as Terrence Tilley has suggested to me. If he had. 3 (SC 64. Cassian claims. 39 (SC 109. means that a monk relies on his ownjudgment ratherthan on that of someone older and wiser40-and self-relianceis a main mechanism by which the Devil is given opportunityfor attack. however. 13). Conlationes 4. Foucaultrecognizesthat Cassian's concerns were not those of Clement of Alexandria.De institutis This content downloaded from 139.Foucaultis awarethat some transformations of Western sexual ethics took place withinthe frameworkof early Christianity:the was not simply betweenthe Greeksand the Romans.42 obedience to the elder that is achieved through confession is imperative for the monk's religious cultivation.18. "the sexual union of two individuals(sunousia) of the act (aphrodisia) (1985b: 20). and the Christians. is structurally parallel to the one Foucaultspots in Greek pederasty: how can a boy who is the "passive" partner emerge into an "active"adult. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 130. 23 (SC 42. on transformation the one hand.112 on Wed. 9 (SC 109. 132).Conlationes 2.who lived two hundredyears earlier. In addition. And yet-still another problem-the desire for perfect obedience carries its own dangers.43 Cassianaffords clear proof that Freud has no monopoly on the exploration of the psyche's deviousness. for it tempts the monk to pride. 454). De institutis 4. idem. 18. De institutis 40JohnCassian.5. 42JohnCassian.630 Journal Academy of Religion of theAmerican sian's advice provides somewhat less firm a way-stationon the road of "incitementsto sexual discourse"than we might have expected on the basis of Foucault'scomments. not an uncovering of the sub-conscious. In his published work. he might have modified his model of 38Yetif the junior monks were not taughtto discuss their sexual thoughts. 41JohnCassian. Conlationes coenobiorum 4.the functionof confession is to promotehumilityby subjecting oneself to another'swill. 43JohnCassian.although knowledge of the self may be a goal both for differs drastically: monasticism and for psychoanalysis.41Since mortification of the will is necessarybefore lust can be bridled. both sexually and politically? coenobiorum 18. 121-123. 39JohnCassian. as Clement had been.38 Moreover. 450.on the other.39 Not to confess. 132).De institutis coenobiorum 12. a worse sin than simple lust ever was. 16. Foucaultcould have explored the workingsof power in this relacoenobiorum tionship to good advantage. 8 (SC 109. 3 (SC 109. 11. 180). 3 (SC 64. in the two majorelements of ancient sexual theory. 1.the motivation for Cassian. Foucault does not reflect on the meaningof this difference between Clement and Cassian. Thus in writingof John Cassian.they themselveswould not in later life be well-equippedto advise newcomersto monastic life. The exercise is a cultivationin humility. idem. and the pleasure namely. SC 54. 13). The problem. 452. Foucault notes-but only in passing-that Cassian is no longer interested. 12.

Paedagogus 4Musonius Rufus XII. and that sexual faithfulnessis incumbentupon the husband as well as upon the Foucaultdescribesit. 7. 10. 231).on the other. 208. we can see an intensification.a second. 47-59). 102 (GCS 12.45are not so differentfrom the sober advice of MusoniusRufus.VitaAntonii5. 12.88.of the ideals Foucaulthas labelled "Roman.46 In prescriptionssuch as these. on one hand.5. 215-216.The Fathers. XIIIAand B.g. 47Athanasius. 79 (GCS 15. he notes a theme discussed by scholars before him. 58.18. and his elitist ethic is accompanied by a quest for self-knowledge. transformed.and especially Veyne (1978:35-63). 98. reappearin transmutedform in the monastic literatureof the late fourth and fifth centuries. XIV (Lutz:86. 848." When Foucault broaches Christian ascetic literature.some characteristics sexual experience. 95.ratherthan an abandonment. 11. 228. 118-119). II. Broudehoux. 19 (PG 26. The advice and prescriptionsgiven by the church fathersto married Christiansfollow quite closely Foucault's"Roman"model. His "non-discussion"is no surline of developmentfrom prise. 872). 214.47 44E. 222-223. and the Christian. thoughts of sex must be resolutelycomrecollections of kin warred against48(not to speak of actual batted. Lausiaca29.for "truth.however.44 For example. Palladius. A more nuanced model of early Christian sexual ethics could even borrow from Foucault'sown descriptionof the Greeksand the Romans: one line of developmentcould be posited from Foucault's "Romans"to married Christians.. Recall Foucault'scharacterization of these Greek sexual values: a free male practices self-dominationor self-masteryin order to create a life more brilliantthan that of his fellow humans. Historiamonachorum This content downloaded from 139. Self-mastery has been transformed into a holy war.and Sex 631 differencebetween Greek and Roman sexual ethics. Foucault. combat againstthe self is the primarytask. 71." The values that Foucault assigned to elite Greek males re-emerge. 121). 218). the theorizing of the desert monks. Rather. 85. Thus. For the monks. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 38 (Butler. Thus when Foucault states that Clement's discussion of marital sexual ethics in II.Stromateis III. Clement's views that exemplarymarriedpersons should perform sexual intercoursewithout passion. 10 "drawson a set of principles and precepts borrowed Paedagogus from directly pagan philosophy" (1985a: 15). quite different.II. This seemingly enigmatic differentiation requiresexplication. however. he providesno explanationfor the differencein themes discussedby Clement and those discussed by Cassian. line of developmentfrom Foucault's"Athenians"to Christianascetics. 90-96).Historia 20 (SubsHag53.for there is no straightforward of Greek(not Roman) the one to the other. 45Clementof Alexandria.112 on Wed.Clark. now see Veyne (1985: esp. idem.

John Cassian. 162). 27 (SC 109. 32. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .51for sleep. 58JohnCassian. VitaMelaniaeJunioris Lausiaca 57 (Butler. 860-861).Practicos 68. 53Verba (= Vitae seniorum patrumV) 2. 190-258). John Cassian. De oratione coenobiorum 4. speaking. 3.50 relatives). orum4. 21 (SC 109. 121). 176. 7. 13 (SC 109. 56Evagrius Lausiaca38 (Butler. 7.De institutis 17 (SC 90. 98). cf.5. for he would have none." Self-dominationwas perhapseven more important for them than for the Greek males to whom Foucaultappeals. Historia 50 (PG 79. John Cassian. 848. 896). II. "yet against one thing shall he continuallybattle.55 Others. 652. EvagriusPonticus. strugglefor self-masterypersisted. Relativelyfew texts. 5.VitaAntonii5. 133). 150-151). 1177). Serenus. 5.II. Historia 57Palladius.Vita coenobiAntonii5.57 and the one desert father who was reputed to have conquereddesire. 124.112 on Wed. 845. Pachomius. 11 (SC 64. 7 (SC 42. 132.18. 54JohnCassian.58Since not many could expect to be rendered"apathetic" (in the original meaning of the word) by such supernatural the operations. such as EvagriusPonticus.56 There were. 50Athanasius.49 for food. 848. 865). 2 (PL 73. thought that a state of perfect self-masterycould be achieved in which the monk would no longer struggleagainst disturbingimpulses. 126. distressingly few himself is said to have sufexemplarsof this passionless state: Evagrius fered from lust. 36 (PG 26. Whether through this combat a state of total self-masterycould be achieved was debated by Christian ascetics themselves. Palladius(?).52 As the issue was succinctly put by the desert father Antony. 6. I. 242. 74). 11-12 (PG 26. 87 (SC 171.De institutis coenobiorum 4. his own heart. 22-24). Gerontius. SC 54. 181-182). John Cassian. 875). The arenas of desire and bodily movement that a Christianmonk 48Athanasius. Ponticus. 322). 2 (PL 73. 332-333). 160. 5 (PL 73. that is. 146. 858). 1-41 (SC 109. 2. and seeing. 1. 845. if a monk did not fight against sin in his mind. 506.Regulae53-55 (PL 23. bear out Foucault'sclaim that the monks manifest a "feminine" desire for "intactness. in comparison. idem. 678).II. 276).De institutis 508). Lausiaca6 (Butler. TheSecond Bookof the Histories 49Palladius.had achieved his passionless state when an angel removedthe "fieryflesh" from his groin.De institutiscoenobiorum 4."53The "solo contest"(1985a:68) Foucaultattributes to the Greekmale pursuingan ethic of "virileself-mastery" fits well in the new arena of monastic combat. 144.54 accordingto them. 17 (SC 42. although the solitary has freed himself from hearing.632 Academyof Religion Journalof the American battles must be waged against the desire for possessions.Practicos 6 (SC 171. 245. Conlationes 24. Conlationes 55Verba (= Vitae seniorum patrumV) 5. thus extirpatinghis sexual desire. he was likely to sin in the flesh instead. 160). 18. 240. 36. idem. however. Some desert fathersthoughtthat it was impossiblenot to be plaguedby "thoughts". Conlationes This content downloaded from 139. 12. 51Palladius. Historia of the Fathers11 (Budge. 52Verba seniorum(= Vitae patrumV) 4.

De institutis (SC 42.18. 59EvagriusPonticus. 12. In addition to keeping close guard over his daytime thoughts. since even what the monks counted as a rarely-enjoyed "banquet"consisted in about 1069 calories. 633 was expected to dominatewere.Foucault. 6. 193-194. 12. 18. more extensive than those to which the Athenianmale might attend. 25). 144. 6. 20. Thus Foucault'sclaim that in Christianasceticism we have moved from the Greekmodel of self-dominationto a "feminine"model of passivity. 2 (SubsHag 53. The model of physical "intactness"that Foucault deems so important in monastic literaturearises relativelylate. 9 (SC 109. 197-198. 208. their bodies. 144). 2. Conlationes coenobiorum 4. are the very authors who counsel Christianvirgins of their own day to keep their "gardens enclosed. idem. idem. erections.that the centraltheme of sexual discourseswitches from "penetration" to "intactness"(1983b:247). 5. SC 64. 15.sexual dreams." their "fountains sealed. 13 61JohnCassian. Historiamonachorum 119). 5. 12. 630. 251. 15 (SC 54. with God'shelp. 11. 206. SC 54. requires qualification. 132). he could. 60JohnCassian. nocturnal emissions. 26. Clark. and slept no more than three or four hours a night.59 Cassian himself was advised that if he ate only two pieces of bread a day. 7. Conlationes 5. The monk's problemwas often locatedin areasthat seemed indominatable:wanderingthoughts. 23 (SC 109. 10. took just a few sips of water. coenobiorum 216. and is most notably associated with the theme of Mary'sperpetualvirginity.5. 264. 286). 121-122). 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .60 As Aline Rousselle has shown. Evagrius Ponticus and Cassian proferred practical advice for the monk that they claimed would lead to success. 139-140. John Cassian. But even in these seemingly intractable areas. 224. 632). 11.Ambrose and Jerome. Conlationes 7. This content downloaded from 139. 259." language they borrow 20. 5. others althoughmales of the desertare no longer sexually "penetrating" and are themselvesbeing "penetrated" the common Devil's arrows (a by toposin monastic literature). Practicos56 (SC 171.and Sex TheFathers.including her virginityin partu. 22. 6. the monk is assisted by a practicalregimen: the restrictionof food and water ("gluttony" was thought to be closely related to attacks of lust). De institutis 5. 6. 15. usually provided with much less nourishment. as modern medical literaturedemonstrates(223). 5. conquerhis nocturnalproblemswithin six months. 7.112 on Wed. SC 64. must have been so physicallydepletedthat sexual desire would fade as a result of malnourishmentalone. of course.61they still exhibit that qualityof self-mastery that Foucault found characteristicof Athenian male ideals. It is no accident that the prime advocates of Mary'sperpetual virginityin the late fourth century. 270. To be sure. 6 (SC 42.

and bake bread for the Eucharistin order to subdue her body by manual labor and lack of sleep--and. Jerome.112 on Wed. see now Diamond and Quinby. The striving for an exceptional life received (so it was imagined) support from Jesus himself: "If you would be perfect. Ep.69Asceticism thus became the mode of life for Christianswho strovefor a perfectionthrough preferred 62Song of Songs 4:12. is a prominenttheme in monastic literature as well. Foucault'slack of attention to female sexuality has received much comment. For essays on Foucault in relation to women's issues.64 This was probablythe same Sarahwho reportedly claimed that althoughshe was a woman in sex. 61 (PL 16. 58. however. the women of the desert. 555 (Budge.De institutione 9. fire the oven. 9.65 "Virile self-mastery. Ambrose. certain Candida.634 Academy Journal of theAmerican of Relgion from the Song of Songs. 386). who arose at night to grind corn. 73 (PL 73. idem. 841)."67 We are told that these words formed the inspirationfor Antony'soriginal renunciation. and penetratedby another. he does not mention this possibility for Christianwomen. 178-179."63Of the abbess Sarah. dominated. idem.68 Moreover. 359). sexual ones included. women to appropriatea model of virile self-mastery 66AlthoughFoucaultallows Graeco-Roman (1983b: 247).66 A second characteristic that Foucaultascribedto the Athenian male was the desire to createfor himself a life more brilliantthan that of his fellow men. 773). Counsels of the HolyMen 11. was not restrictedto males. in order to "do awaywith the greedyappetiteof Esau.sell your goods. 29 (PL 16. 150-151). 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Jesus also had allegedly emphasized in his teaching about types of eunuchs that "not all" would be able to become eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. He would fashion an "aestheticsof existence" that would set him apart. give to the poor. Lausiaca57 (Butler. We hear of a their male counterparts. A last point concerningthe self-dominationtheme: unlike the Athenian elite women. freedom from pollution and physical "intactness"are stressed far less than self-domination.VitaAntonii2 (PG 26. 25. I.62 All in all. To achieve this special brilliance.Historia 64Palladius(?). 69Matthew19:10-12. as she allegedly put it. she was not one in spirit. however.5. 36 (PL 16. describedby Foucaultas those who were mastered. 1250). like are describedas self-dominating. 65Verba seniorum (= Vitae patrumV) 10. and come and follow me.the male would impose variousrestrictionsupon himself. 68Athanasius.II.18. The creationof the exceptional life. Exhortatio 5. 335). 63Palladius. This content downloaded from 139.we learn that she contended with the demon of lust for seven years before she finallyconqueredhim. 67Matthew19:21 and parallels."it appears. 21 (CSEL54. Epp. virginis virginitatis 63. either of classical Athens or of the Egyptiandesert. 925). 22. 49(48).

"ascetics who were free from desire itself and who rose above the entire earthly heritage. no pastoral authority.e. French:143).106. Those who still lived in the realm of "law" (i. a distinction should be made between "the righteous"and "the perfect": "the righteous" were those who kept free of adulteryand other earthlyperversities.112 on Wed. the commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery"was to be interpretedliterally by those-but only those-who were "still in bondage to foul passions". 71JohnCassian. marriage) through their choice of asceticism. Syriac:105.Clark: Foucault.5. and the two Melanias. Conlationes 21. of sexual activity. 15. Marcella. The Cappa22. 3 (PL 23. 108]). 163. CSEL56. As EvagriusPonticus expressed this Christianelitism.74 70JohnCassian. Isidore (Palladius. 4 (Muyldermans. 197). But for those who renounced even what was "lawful" (namely. the vermin-and our relativeneglect of the ascetics' fastidiousgrooming of their psyches. This content downloaded from 139.Arsenius(Apophthegmatapatrum.22. 128]). 8 (CSEL54. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 353. Although a surprisingnumber of early ascetic leaderscame from privilegedbackthe creationof a brilliantascetic life was open both to those grounds. the life of reproduction) ratherthan that of "grace"(i. docian Fathersalso stand as examples of ascetics from high social backgrounds.and Sex 635 which they could escape the downward pull of worldly concerns. the life of virginity)were prone to slide down the slippery slope from lawful married intercourse to unlawful adulterywith alarmingalacrity. 648.requiredthis strivingfor a special excellence above and beyond the precepts all Christianswere expected to observe.The do Western ascetics such as Paulinus of Nola.Epp. To be sure. That we tend not to associate asceticismwith an "aestheticsof existence" reveals our overemphasison the material conditions of asceticism-the dirt. 49 (48). 82). Conlationes 73Matthew 13:8.II.. Ambrose. "unlawful"acts could not even pose themselves as temptations.Historia Lausiaca 1 [ was a self-imposed restriction. 161). 11 (SC 54.Dejustis et perfectis1.e.Amoun (Historia monachorum 74Examples.72 Thus ascetic piety itself created an elite class. Sulpicius Severus. of family. 123. Paula. Arsenius42 [PG65. 14. 2. 106-108). the virgins who were equated with the onehundredfoldharvest in Jesus' parable-as contrastedwith the lowly thirtyfoldharvest that representedthe married.Jerome.73 Moreover-pace Foucault-no divine or ecclesiastical law. AdversusJovinianum I.18. the elitism of "perfect"Christian ascetics differed in some respectsfrom the elitism of Foucault'sAthenianmales. but not from possessions and the world's business-unlike "the perfect. 1 [SubsHag53. 2.70 As Cassian put it. 32-33 (SC 64. 223). 66. 72JohnCassian.7' the ascetic had surpassed the need for any such literally-interpreted laws.

100.a balsam grower (Palladius. The monk's search for truth. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . "Whoeverraises himself up shall be abased!"76 Foucaultascribesto the Greeksexual ethic is The thirdcharacteristic the pursuit of self-knowledge. 78Foucault's argumenton this point might have been somewhatmodifiedif he had treatedthe Old Stoics: see note 13 above. illustrateswell the values of Christianmonastics: the quest for truth.636 Academyof Religion Journalof the American and to women. was fraught with dangers unknown to an ancient Athenian. is the very goal of the monk's askisis (1985a:245-246). a harbingerof futureideals representative those of his own day.II. knowledge. 21-22). for if the monks succumbedto pride. however unrepresentative ancient Greek ideals. Monasticelitism createdits own special dangers. 69. for he bolsters his case by an appeal to Plato'sview that long-termabstention would assist the quest for "knowing thyself" (1985a: part 5. could not easily be accommodatedin an ethic organizedaroundthe search for the right use of pleasure"(1985a:230). 8 [Butler. of The view that Foucault ascribes to Plato. two categories of people from humble backgrounds"7 deemed incapable of having beautifullives by ancient Greek standards. 245-246). however. This content downloaded from 139. a herdsman. yet he is hard-pressedto find any other Greek males who if they had any intervalued sexual renunciationin the quest for "truth. This point has been scored by other commentators (Lloyd: 28). of Nitria.77 As Foucaulthimself admits. Here Foucault'sargumentfounders. 77"Atmany points they [Platoand Aristotle]are typicalof no one but themselves.18. esp.a builder.Sisinnius. 27]). now identified with the quest for God.5.Historia among many others. 35 (SubsHag53.112 on Wed. unintegrated but not of Foucault'sscheme. Plato's teaching in the runs against the grain of traditionalGreek and the Phaedrus Symposium wisdom about pleasure. 35.. 18:14. 143. Lausiaca22.Amoun 75Examples:Paul the Simple.a slave.Historiamonachorum 1." how much the demons loved to chant the Scriptural verse.78 "Indefiniteabstention." If the genealogist's task is to show how power. into to Plato stands est in such a quest begin alone." with.however.Foucaulthas been less than successful in explicating the "knowledge"component for the ancient Greeks. and raises questions that would eventually transformthe Greek ethic into one of renunciation(1985a:229-230). Thus a democratizingof opportunityexisted in tandem with an elitism based on choice and achievement. and the body relate to each other (Dreyfus and Rabinowitz:105). Thus both Antony and Cassian report that demons can John of Lycopolis.. 76Luke14:11. 49.for the monk lived in a world peopled by demons who delightedto lead monks astrayby appearingas powers of goodness. the glory of their lives would be ruined: when a monk "fell.

900). I am prompted to modify Foucault's scheme in several ways. 1-2 (514A-517A). Conlationes Athanasius. II.VitaAntonii14 (PG 26. 881. I would argue.VitaAntonii35. Ponticus. 16. But for the late ancient period. 105).VitaAntonii39 (PG 26. Foucault. 21 (SC 42.TerrenceTilley.18. and Religion of Ancient Mediterraneanresearch group. Foucaulthints that he is aware of this problem (1985a: 41).VitaAntonii25 (PG 26.79 They lure the monk to "holiness" by waking him for prayer and by encouraginghim to eat nothings--and this for the sake of causinghim to stumble in his renunciation. at the very end. 881). 900). I also thank BrendaDenzler for editorialassistance.not simply upon monks.Practicos13 (SC 171. the monk could exist in lifelong trepidationthat he might. Certainty was reservedfor the moment of death. 86Athanasius.Conlationes Historia Lausiaca6 (Butler. 893). 35 (PG 26. The Devil tricks the monk into thinking that love of family is praiseworthy-so he can implant avaricein his heart. 84Evagrius 85Plato. 82Athanasius. and to the ideals of Christianmarriage. the ascetic in their power. 528). 11 (SC 43. than Foucaulthimself imagined. 100. 865).85 to the light. citing II Corinthians 11:14. and two anonymous reviewersfor their criticismsand comments. 39 (PG 26. I would gloss Athanasius'famous line that the popularityof asceticismhad made "the desert a city"86: the "city"it became. on the one hand. 79JohnCassian.112 on Wed. 871wish to thankJay Geller. 83Athanasius. BruceLawrence. 81Palladius. Culture. Thus through my reading of the patristic texts. These "Greek"and "Roman"roads merged in medieval Christianityto the extent that confession became incumbent upon marriedlay Christians.DavidJohnson. 1.8' Demons sing like exemplarymonks82-but only to get holy songs and reciteScripture. The Egyptianascetic had as many grave problems in discerning falsehood from truth as did the prisoners in Plato's cave who were released into the blinding sunbut whereasthe eyes of Plato'sprisonerswould grow accustomed light.The Fathers. This content downloaded from 139. Worst of all. most notably to suggest a double path leading from the ethics of the Greeks and the Romans to early Christianmonastic values. 22). SC 54. the deadlysin.Clark. shares slightly more with ancient Athens.on the other. they solemnly pronounce the ascetic to be "blessed.and Sex 637 transform themselves into angels of light.Vita 80JohnCassian.Republic VII. 3 Apr 2013 04:54:22 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but perhaps somewhat less withfin de sidcleVienna.5.87 1. mistake falseness for truth. Antonii25. Athanasius."83 even predictingthat he will attain the priesthood84 thus leading him to pride. 231). the membersof the Society. 19. 893.

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