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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The rise of Christian monasticism, combined with the increased enthusiasm for the singing of psalms, was a reflection of the remarkable resurgence of the Hebraic spirit. Psalmody became the principal liturgical ingredient in the life of the ascetics. In his Institutes, John Cassian notes a direct correlation between asceticism and the quantity of psalms prescribed. The importance given to the psalms is at least partly due to the Hebraic spirit of the early monks of the Egyptian desert that responds to the anthropomorphism of the Psalms. In his writings, Evagrius of Pontus articulated the “wisdom of the desert” in both its practice and mysticism. This article examines the Psalms from the standpoint of the beliefs and practices of ancient Christians, particularly with respect to monasticism. It also considers André Chouraqui’s translation and commentary on the Psalms and demonstrates the association between the Psalter and the ascetic life.

Keywords: monasticism, Hebraic spirit, asceticism, anthropomorphism, Psalms, Evagrius of Pontus, wisdom of the desert, mysticism, Christians, André Chouraqui

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