The Eastern Christian term for a monastic from the desert fathers onwards was 'mourner'. The solitary grieved for his sin, and expressed his penitence in tears of lamentation. The remorse he felt was, paradoxically, joyful because it brought him closer to God. The 'mourner' within the Christian community articulated the remorse of his fellows as well as himself. The term was applied to men specifically, and denotes a shift from the practice of secular mourning, that being the province of women. This article explores male self-identity in two contemporaries from very different perspectives; John Climacus, an abbot of Mount Sinai, whose 'Ladder of Divine Ascent' is the Lenten reading today in every Orthodox monastery, and Isaac of Nineveh, who exemplifies the Syrian outworking of the tradition.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||The Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Aug 2013|
- Syrian literature
- first and second Adam