In the West, monastic ideals and scholastic pursuits are complementary; monks are popularly imagined copying classics, preserving learning through the Middle Ages, and establishing the first universities. But this dual identity is not without its contradictions. While monasticism emphasizes the virtues of poverty, chastity, and humility, the scholar, by contrast, requires expensive infrastructureaa library, a workplace, and the means of disseminating his work. In The Monk and the Book, Megan Hale Williams argues that Saint Jerome was the first to represent biblical study as a mode of asceticism appropriate for an inhabitant of a Christian monastery, thus pioneering the enduring linkage of monastic identities and institutions with scholarship. Revisiting Jerome with the analytical tools of recent cultural historyaincluding the work of Bourdieu, Foucault, and Roger ChartieraWilliams proposes new interpretations that remove obstacles to understanding the life and legacy of the saint. Examining issues such as the construction of Jeromeas literary persona, the form and contents of his library, and the intellectual framework of his commentaries, Williams shows that Jeromeas textual and exegetical work on the Hebrew scriptures helped to construct a new culture of learning. This fusion of the identities of scholar and monk, Williams shows, continues to reverberate in the culture of the modern university. q[Williams] has written a fascinating study, which provides a series of striking insights into the career of one of the most colorful and influential figures in Christian antiquity. Jerome's Latin Bible would become the foundational text for the intellectual development of the West, providing words for the deepest aspirations and most intensely held convictions of an entire civilization. Williams's book does much to illumine the circumstances in which that fundamental text was produced, and reminds us that great ideas, like great people, have particular origins, and their own complex settings.qaEamon Duffy, New York Review of BooksThe columns are defined not only by the arrangement of the writing on the page but also by the ruling pattern that guides the writing. ... Two factors, however, suggest that Jeromea#39;s adaptation involved more than merely copying the format of the Greek Chronicle. ... obsecro, ut, quidquid hoc tumul- tuarii operis est, amicorum, non iudicum animo relegatis, praesertim cum et notario, ut scitis, uelocis- simeanbsp;...
|Title||:||The Monk and the Book|
|Author||:||Megan Hale Williams|
|Publisher||:||University of Chicago Press - 2008-09-15|