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Document Details :
Title: Shenoute of Atripe on Christ the Physician and the Cure of Souls
Author(s): CRISLIP, Andrew
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 122 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2009
The present article explores Christus medicus imagery in several theological works by the Coptic monk Shenoute of Atripe (fl. ca. AD 385-465), a writer whose homiletic appropriation of the theme has been heretofore neglected. The primary texts under investigation here, 'I Am Amazed', 'The Spirit of God', and 'A Priest Will Never Cease', are connected bibliographically by their sequential arrangement in a volume of Shenoute’s Discourses. In these works Shenoute reveals himself to be actively engaged in theological issues and theological discourses shared among the theological cultures of the greater Mediterranean world, including extensive reflection on the Christus medicus motif, to which Shenoute adds his own personal and perhaps distinctively Upper Egyptian perspectives.
Shenoute’s adaptation and deployment of Christus medicus theology is not only important for contextualizing Shenoute within the theological culture of late antiquity. Rather, Christus medicus theology as a discursive element runs throughout Shenoute’s varied works and reflects both the complex and ultifaceted roles that Shenoute played in Upper Egypt and the significant place that illness and its meaning held in Shenoute’s long and still poorly understood career, as well as in the history of monasticism in general.