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Paternal Metaphor in the Rule of Benedict: Its Origins in Biblical, Monastic, Ecclesial and Secular Traditions

Bewley, Philip J. (2011) Paternal Metaphor in the Rule of Benedict: Its Origins in Biblical, Monastic, Ecclesial and Secular Traditions. Master of Theology (minor thesis) thesis, UNSPECIFIED.


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A central figure of the Rule of Benedict (RB) is its abbot who is addressed by a title of Christ, abba, pater. The use of this paternal metaphor to describe RB’s superior is the subject of this thesis. Benedict’s reason and purpose in adopting such a metaphor is explored together with its origin in biblical, monastic/ecclesial and cultural traditions. The theological implications of its use are also explored. It is the premise of this thesis that Benedict drew on all three traditions when formulating the “fatherly” role his superior would undertake within his community. This thesis acts as a counter argument to those scholars of the origins of Christian monasticism who see the abbot as in no way modelled on the Roman paterfamilias of Antiquity or sixth century Italy, or see the abbatial office as solely modelled on the kind of fathering found in the Scriptures.

Item Type: Theses (Master of Theology (minor thesis))
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: rule, Benedict, monasticism, fatherhood, abbas, pater, paterfamilias, metaphor, Master, familial, schola, Christ
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950405 Religious Structures and Ritual
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
College/Association with University of Divinity: UFT-TCTS: United Faculty of Theology - Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Cate Headey
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2011 02:59
Last Modified: 27 May 2011 02:36
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/852

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