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Encountering the SacredThe Debate on Christian Pilgrimage in Late Antiquity$
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Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241916

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241916.001.0001

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Pilgrimage in Monastic Culture

Pilgrimage in Monastic Culture

(p.140) 4 Pilgrimage in Monastic Culture
Encountering the Sacred


University of California Press

Pilgrimage in late antiquity was prevalent in all strata of society in the Christian world, particularly among monks and nuns. The monastic literature of fourth-century Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and Asia Minor abounds in descriptions of monks who journeyed to the holy places in Palestine. Pilgrimage has been widely studied by contemporary scholars, but little has been said about the relationship between pilgrimage and the very idea of monastic life. Legendary thinkers such as Basil of Caesarea, Jerome, Evagrius Ponticus, and Cassian were among the leading late fourth-century figures who wandered from one monastic center to another in order to teach themselves in monastic life. Cassian and his companion traveled to Egypt in hopes of visiting the famous holy men dwelling in the depths of the Theban desert after their initial training in a monastery in Syria.

Keywords:   Syria, Basil, Cassian, Theban, monastery

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