Graduate Papers/Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology


School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

Columba Stewart OSB


In this paper I compare and contrast asceticism as discipline in John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion with the early Christian's notion of asceticism especially reflected in Evagrius Ponticus, John Cassian, and the Sayings of the Desert Fathers with particular attention to the eight thoughts. Then I suggest the practice of asceticism that Calvin would have considered appropriate as he described the Christian life. In the final section of the paper, I discuss several contemporary examples of spiritual practices offered in the Reformed tradition and note briefly how these compare with what Calvin suggests and with early Christian practices.



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