The chapter discusses the theoretic development regarding asceticism, first by reviewing various ways of defining asceticism, focusing in particular on the works of Richard Valantasis and Gavin Flood, then on other ways to theoretically discuss asceticism, based on Elizabeth A. Clark's criticism of earlier research into asceticism. From this discussion, a sketch of the current scholarly view of asceticism is presented and the key question of the study are formulated, seeking to go beyond this view in the areas of the understanding of the role of the body in asceticism as well as its relation to society. Some key concepts of the study, such as worldview are discussed and additional theoretical frameworks (ritual theory) are presented.
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