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From Social Death to Spiritual Rebirth: The Beginnings of Monastic Life for Christian Women between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (4th-6th Centuries)

From Social Death to Spiritual Rebirth: The Beginnings of Monastic Life for Christian Women between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (4th-6th Centuries)

By Andra Jugănaru

Cogito, Vol.3 No.2 (2011)

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to highlight the way that female monasticism was perceived in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The process involving women’s transition from the social life to the ascetic one was seen, both by laymen and by the nuns, as a social death. However, if for seculars, women’s social withdrawal did not have other significations, for nuns, it also meant climbing the steps from sin to holiness. Their purpose was to be reborn spiritually, achieving the biblical ideal of living with Christ.

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