'With Masculine and Perfect Mind'? Asceticism and the Articulation of the Female Christian Self

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Abstract

This paper examines the hagiographies of female ascetics, and in particular those stories about female ascetics who went into the desert and in becoming ascetics, also became, to all intents and purposes, men. In general, the interpretation of these stories has focused on their use for understanding the lives of historical women. This paper examines these stories for the representation of these women’s experience as a process of metamorphosis. Metamorphosis was a story structure or topos that would have been familiar to the audiences of these stories from other narrative contexts. My aim is to draw out the significance of this story pattern for our understanding of the contemporary meanings of these stories, and examine how and why—and with what implications—the topos of metamorphosis itself undergoes change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication"Zu Tisch bei den Heiligen..."
Subtitle of host publicationAskese, Nahrung und Individualisierung im spätantiken Mönchstum
EditorsKatharina Waldner, Daniel Albrecht
Place of PublicationStuttgart
PublisherFranz Steiner Verlag
Chapter6
Pages55-69
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783515120906
ISBN (Print)9783515120876
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019

Publication series

NamePotsdam Ancient Studies contributions
PublisherFranz Steiner Verlag
Volume63
ISSN (Print)1437-6032

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