Treasure in Heaven Hardback

The Holy Poor in Early Christianity

by Peter Brown;

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Treasure in Heaven

Full Product Description

The "holy poor" have long maintained an elite status within Christianity. Differing from the "real" poor, these clergymen, teachers, and ascetics have historically been viewed by their fellow Christians as persons who should receive material support in exchange for offering immeasurable immaterial benefits teaching, preaching, and prayer. Supporting them quite as much as supporting the real poor has been a way to accumulate eventual treasure in heaven. Yet from the rise of Christian monasticism in Egypt and Syria to present day, Christians have argued fiercely about whether monks should work to support themselves. In "Treasure in Heaven, " renowned historian Peter Brown shifts attention from Western to Eastern Christianity, introducing us to this smoldering debate that took place across the entire Middle East from the Euphrates to the Nile. Seen against the backdrop of Asia, Christianity might have opted for a Buddhist model by which holy monks lived by begging alone. Instead, the monks of Egypt upheld an alternative model that linked the monk to humanity and the monastery to society through acceptance of the common, human bond of work. This model of Third World Christianity a Christianity that we all too easily associate with the West eventually became the basis for the monasticism of western Europe, as well as for modern Western attitudes to charity and labor. In "Treasure in Heaven, " Brown shows how and why we are still living at times uncomfortably with that choice. "

Treasure in Heaven by Peter Brown was published by University of Virginia Press in February 2016. The ISBN for Treasure in Heaven is 9780813938288.

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Details for Treasure in Heaven

Page last updated 25th October 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatHardback
PublisherUniversity of Virginia Press (February 2016)
Number of Pages192
Thickness20 mm
Height216 mm
Width140 mm
Product Code4451146
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