This book project examines the social history of children, parents, and parenting in early monasteries; children as symbols in ascetic texts and art; and the ideological and political uses of ascetic discourses about children.
The Monastery of Shenoute, also known as the White Monastery, was home to thousands of women and men in late antiquity. Coptic manuscripts from this community comprise our most extensive corpus of non-hagiographical material from and about a fourth and fifth century monastery. My first book, Monastic Bodies, as well as much of my ongoing research concerns this community. Photograph: Schroeder, 1999, the festival of St. Shenoute.
Coptic SCRIPTORIUM is an interdisciplinary, online platform for the digital and computational study of the Coptic language and literature. It is codirected by Caroline T. Schroeder and Amir Zeldes. We produced a new video on our data model, including our search tool, in November 2014.
I am a cultural historian of religion, focusing especially on Christianity in Late Antiquity.
I have three major active research projects: a monograph, Monks and Their Children; a co-edited volume with Catherine Chin of U. C. Davis, Melania: Early Christianity through the Life of One Family; and a digital humanities project Coptic SCRIPTORIUM. I am also working on essays on social media and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife Fragment, Digital Humanities and colonized cultural heritage, and the historiography of early Christian studies.
Please visit the Publications section for more about my published scholarship, and visit my blog, Early Monasticism, for public writing and work in progress.
Monks and Their Children Family and Childhood in Early Monasticism
A book project examining the social history of children, parents, and parenting; children as symbols in ascetic texts and art; and the ideological and political uses of discourses about children. The first monograph on children in earliest Christian monasticism.
Part One: Where Do Children Come From?
1. Documenting the Undocumented
2. The language of Childhood
Part Two: Reading and Representing Childhood
3. Homoeroticism, Children, and the Making of Monks
4. Child Sacrifice: From Familial Renunciation to Jephthah's Lost Daughter
5. Healing Children, Healing the Family
Part Three: A Social History of Monastic Children
6. Making New Monks
7. Breaking Rules and Telling Tales
8. The Ties that Bind
Conclusions: Fathers, Sons, and Monastic Genealogies
Nursing virgin painting at the Monastery of the Syrians in the Wadi Natrun, Egypt. Photograph: Schroeder, 2002.