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Eastern Christians in Anthropological Perspective$
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Chris Hann and Hermann Goltz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260559

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260559.001.0001

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The Spirit and the Letter

The Spirit and the Letter

Monastic Education in a Romanian Orthodox Convent

(p.131) 5 The Spirit and the Letter
Eastern Christians in Anthropological Perspective

Chris Hann

Hermann Goltz

University of California Press

This chapter examines how religious knowledge is produced and transmitted in the context of Orthodox monastic lives in contemporary Romania. It considers the use, by novices and those who train them, of notions of mysticism and charisma, in both discourse and practice, with particular reference to the use of texts. Cliché characterizations of Orthodoxy commonly emphasize a contemplative and mystical outlook. Such representations are not limited to Western observers. Orthodox theologians themselves speak of mysticism as the faith's central defining characteristic.

Keywords:   religious knowledge, religious transmission, Orthodox monastic lives, Romania, mysticism, charisma

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