This chapter presents a short biography of late Roman writer, John Cassian, and introduces the purpose of the book. Cassian was an important 5th-century writer with remarkable connections to the churches of three significant areas: Constantinople, Rome, and south-eastern Gaul. While his work was one of the cornerstones for the western monastic tradition mediated by Benedict of Nursia, it was also Cassian's entry in a competition for the hearts and minds of Gallic ascetics. Competition, authority and self-justification are as present in Cassian's works as in his teaching on psalmody. Lastly, he prescribed a programme centred on the concept of renunciation, one more socially radical and rigidly dogmatic than anything proposed by his contemporaries. The purpose of this study is to make connections between Cassian's thought, work, and the much-larger milieu of later Roman society.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.