«Собранный воедино»: происхождение и изначальное содержание понятия «монах» по греческим, коптским и сирийским памятникам II-IV вв.
(97706 печатных знаков.), которая выйдет не раньше конца ноября в Богословском вестнике, а может и позже.
“Assembled as One”: the Origins and Early Meaning of the Term ‘Monk’ according to the Greek, Coptic and Syriac Sources from II to IV c. A.D.
This article deals with the problem of identity and the origin of monasticism. To address this issue, the author applies a linguistic approach; he examines different contexts of the early use of the concept ‘Monk’ according to Greek, Coptic and Syriac sources, in the dioceses of Egypt and Syria from the 2nd to the 4th century A.D. The Greek term μοναχός and its Coptic transliteration nmonacos, as well as the Coptic term oua ouwt (‘single one’), and the Syriac terms ihidaya and qyama are analyzed.
It is shown that (1) the original use of the terms mentioned above reflects biblical understanding of the ascetic life with its imprint of a Semitic mentality; (2) these terms, originally taken from the Scriptures, very quickly (to the 3rd century) acquired a Christological meaning and have served as a support for the development of the theology of the ascetic life; (3) at the same time, these concepts started to designate certain persons or ascetic groups that existed within the Christian community as its core; (4) these groups represented particular ‘orders’, similar to the order of priesthood; in fact, among the members of these ascetic groups bishops, priests and deacons were usually elected; (5) the accession to these ‘orders’ took place during the baptism which often coincided with the very adoption of Christianity; (6) the subsequent development of the monastic tradition was formed by theology and the ascetic way of life of the early Christian communities.
This article shows that the concept ‘Monk’, historically, possesses two aspects: that of singleness (hence the ideal of celibacy), and that of ‘assembling as one’ as a way towards the unity with God. The doctrines of Aphrahat the Persian Sage (ca. 270-345) and Ephraim the Syrian (306-373) show that the interpretation of these two aspects was carried out through the combination of a formal action with theological contemplation, since it is through theology that practice regained its Christian modality. Therefore, baptism was considered a formal accession to the path of the ascetic life (and therefore accompanied by the adoption of the vow of chastity), and the further transition to unity with God was accompanied by assimilation of the idea of ‘singleness’ in the face of God and in God, and therefore by the adoption of the name ‘monk’ (μοναχός in Egypt and ihidaya in Syria).
Finally, the phenomenon described by the term ‘monk’ in the early Christian milieu, did not come from nowhere; originally it was part of a wider ascetic movement of the early Church. This fact may modify the cherished notions regarding the origin of monasticism and its authentic identity. The phenomenon of monasticism in the Orthodox Church results from a long process of assimilation, unification and later interpretation of early Christian ascetic doctrines and experience during the Byzantine era.
Key words: history of Christianity, history of the Church, Christian ascetics, ascetical theology, monasticism, emergence of monasticism, monastic life, theology of monastic life, bnay / bnat qyama, ihidaya, single ones, Aphrahat, Ephraim the Syrian, Syriac asceticism, Christian Syria, Christian Egypt, ascetic orders, monastic orders.