Koinonikon zoon: the place of friendship in classical and early monastic community building
Kalender, Berat Melih
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This study analyzes the significance of the concept of friendship in the works of three Classical Greek philosophers—Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle—and various Desert Fathers—mainly, but not only, Pachomius and his contemporaries—and two important monastic legislators—St. Basil the Great and St. John Cassian. It considers monastic friendship to be a distinct phenomenon which overlaps with—and takes root from—but is not the same thing as Christian friendship. Since the two last figures, Basil and Cassian, were influenced by the two former groups of writers in question (that is, classical and Egyptian), this work treats the teachings of Basil and Cassian as the synthesis of both influences, and, by examining the ideals of friendship as can be reconstructed from all these sources, it offers an assessment of the place of these ideals in terms of community building.