The Way of the Ascetics: The Making of the Self in Christian Monasticism
The practice of asceticism appeared in ancient Christianity as a movement striving for a deeper spiritual life and connection with the Divine. Men and women withdrew into the wilderness to become fully attuned to God, engaged more empathetically with their human communities and the natural environment, and served the poor and socially marginalized. We shall examine how their new model of living challenged the traditional formations of identity and power through cultivating a watchful mind and deepening awareness. We shall also consider its possible relevance for our postmodern world. Readings will include the Gospel of Thomas, Desert Wisdom anthologies such as “The Philokalia,” and works of American mystic Thomas Merton and novelist Annie Dillard.

1:00pm-3:00pm on Friday at RCD B11 (Jan 11, 2016 to Feb 5, 2016)
1:00pm-4:00pm on Tuesday, Thursday at MNR 405 (Jan 11, 2016 to Feb 5, 2016)
Ross Commons Dining B11