RJ Bautch. (In Press).  "On Bended Knee:  Correlations Liturgical and Anthropological from a Fifth-Century Monastery."  To be published in Koinonia, October 1999.
 
 

Abstract

This paper uses a biocultural approach to explore an interstice between the liturgical practice of the early Church and anthrpological data from one monastery.  Both sources indicate that kneeling enjoyed a certain popularity at least in Byzantine Jerusalem.  The key to this study is an osteological inventory of monks' remains which show a series of pathologies associated with flexion of the knee and probably caused by sustained, repetitive kneeling for prayer.  When combined with three, discrete literary sources, the anthropological evidence allows a preliminary reconstruction of an important monastic locale.  The reconstruction, in turn, challenges the standard distinction between cathedral and monastic offices of the early Church.

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