Stephen of Thebes and the asceticization of the catechetical tradition

I have reblogged the Ge’ez of Stephen of Thebes from the learned blog of Alin Suciu. As Suciu notes, nothing is known of this figure, beyond his monastic status; indeed I am ashamed to say that I had not previously heard of him, or of this work. However, I was immediately struck by the echoes of the catechetical tradition which entered the church order tradition from the time of the Didache on, here, as in such works as the Fides patrum and the Syntagma doctrinae, effectively asceticized through the change of audience from those being baptized to those entering monastic profession. This is perhaps a theme which needs further to be explored, and so the evidence is reblogged with thanks.

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2 Comments

Filed under Other church order literature

2 responses to “Stephen of Thebes and the asceticization of the catechetical tradition

  1. Stephen of Thebes’ style (ascetic gnomai) is very similar to that of, e.g., Evagrius, Isaiah of Scetis and Paul of Thebes.

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  2. Indeed. My principal comment was on content, but you also point out something significant, in terms of the adoption of the gnomologion for the propagation of ascetic teaching. I spend some time in the introduction to the Nicene gnomes discussing gnomologia in classical antiquity, their use in what we might call personal training, and the manner in which they were used for private reading. It seems that, albeit with a distinct social audience, the ascetic writers are heirs to this philosophical and pedagogic tradition.

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