CUA's Byzantine Monasticism Past and Present Conference
February 21, 2020
Casey Knott Presents Paper at Conference
On February 21st, 2020, Casey Knott presented a paper entitled "Monks and Fools in the Queen of Cities: Exploring the Boundaries of Ascetic Performance in 10th Century Constantinople," at CUA's Byzantine Monasticism Past and Present conference.
His paper traces the development of a distinctive ascetic milieu in 10th century Constantinople, whose pointed critiques of the ecclesiastical hierarchy resulted in the championing of individualized and unaffiliated ascetic performances and models of sanctity. It is argued that the enigmatic conduct of the holy fool, exemplified most vividly in the vitae of St. Andrew of Constantinople and St. Basil the Younger, gave inspiration to a generation of Constantinopolitan monastics, including St. Symeon the New Theologian, who adapted the performance of holy folly and came to "prescribe" it as a technology of monastic self-formation within the urban sphere.