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BOOK REVIEWS283 thinkers who celebrate respectively asceticism's power to Uberate the human person and to produce "a beautiful personaUty" By contrast, Bruce Malina, adopting a determinedly "modern" and "scientific" viewpoint, sees only "setfshrinkage .'The reactions ofreaders may osculate between these poles ofhorror at the ascetic and fascination with it.Yet the obvious depth of knowledge and the extraordinary ability of the contributors to convey their knowledge wiU lead most readers to new appreciation for the power of the ascetic impulse as well as to vastly increased understanding of the variety of its expressions. The plan of the book generaUy foUows that of the conference. After a foreword byJohn Hick, an introduction by the editors, and two "General Challenges and Reconsiderations" by KaUistos Ware and Edith Wyschogrod, twenty-four short essays are presented in groups of three, each threesome followed by a response . Elizabeth A. Clark then attempts the daunting task of responding to aU of these in six pages. The papers are sorted under four headings: Origins and Meanings of Asceticism, Hermeneutics ofAsceticism, Aesthetics of Asceticism, and PoUtics ofAsceticism. Most of them could as easUy have been put into one or sometimes two of the other categories, but that fact merely Ulustrates the interesting cross-currents that are at work. Even so, there are six additional contributions that were apparently not deemed quite to fit any of these topics. These appear as "Asc├ętica Miscellanea" in an appendix, which also records the closing panel discussion on "Practices and Meanings of Asceticism in Contemporary ReUgious life and Culture." This is obviously not a book to be read straight through.Yet it is an easy book to read, not merely enticing because of exotic descriptions and narratives, though those are not lacking, but deeply engaging because of the quality of thought as its authors wrestle with the best way of understanding and learning from phenomena that they know intimately and care about. It is, of course, impossible to summarize. EUzabeth Clark's response (pp. 505-512) is the closest thing to a summary one could hope for, and not a bad place to begin reading. Wimbush andValantasis are to be commended for a remarkable accompUshment , both in staging a conference of such rich diversity and high quaUty and for making its results avaUable in a handsomely edited book. Wayne A. Meeks Yale University Studies on the History ofthe Church of Cyprus: 4th-20th Centuries. By Benedict Englezakis. Edited by Silouan and Misael Ioannou; translated by Norman RusseU. (Brookfield,Vermont:Variorum, Ashgate PubUshing Company . 1995. Pp. xvi, 487. $100.00.) This volume collects twenty essays, critical editions, and lectures of the learned Cypriot Archimandrite, historian, and bibUcal scholar Benedict Engleza- 284BOOK REVIEWS kis, who died in 1992. The original audiences for these pieces, arranged here chronologicaUy,were quite varied. Disparate parts ofthe book wiU prove useful and informative to scholars and lay readers. Five chapters present overviews of important moments and extended periods in Cypriot church history. The fourth-century origins of Cyprus's autocephaUc archbishopric owe much to the charismatic and powerful figure of Epiphanius of Salamis. A broad outline of the Church's development in the Byzantine period (330-1191) illustrates a particular sensitivity to the diverse social, poUtical, and economic forces which shaped not only the hierarchy but Cypriot Christianity itsetf. Treatment of the survival of Orthodoxy under the Roman CathoUc Franks draws attention to the cross-purposes of Lusignan poUtical and ecclesiastical leaders and the resulting oppression of the indigenous population. Accounts of the Church both in the Late Ottoman period (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) and under British rule (1878-1955), while somewhat more partisan, flesh out a fascinating story otherwise unavailable in EngUsh.Those with a general interest in Cypriot history wiU find that these chapters benefit from sound historical research and methodology. One wishes Englezakis had Uved to flesh out a complete history of the Church of Cyprus. Much of the book is devoted to Englezakis's significant work on St. Neophytos the Recluse (1134-c. 1220), perhaps the most important Cypriot source for the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. In addition to pubUshing editions of texts key to understanding the conquest of Cyprus by...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 283-285
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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