RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 31011840 LA English T1 Athanasius and the politics of asceticism A1 Brakke, David., PB Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press PP Oxford; New York YR 1995 SN 0198268165 9780198268161 AB It is often assumed that early Christian asceticism drew its devotees completely away from worldly interests into the etherial realms of spirituality. This book, which focuses on the life and thought of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria (AD 328-73) - one of the key figures of the church in his time - shows on the contrary just how deeply political ascetic theology could be. Dr Brakke examines how Athanasius joined with other fourth century bishops in determining to create a unified and dominant church of Egypt in the Roman Empire, and organized both the monks of the desert and female ascetics based in the cities into auxiliaries of the emerging local parishes. He integrated ascetic values into a comprehensive vision of the church as a heavenly commonwealth, made up of people practising diverse versions of a single discipline. This new and illuminating study of the turmoils and vicissitudes of fourth century Christianity also includes an invaluable appendix with the first English translations of many of Athanasius' ascetic and pastoral writings.