God as a Wall of Fire: Walls, Boundaries, and Identity in Egyptian Monasticism
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EXCERPTWhen thinking about the roles of walls in Egyptian monasticism, I decided to start with a straightforward and yet fundamental point about the roles of walls in religious spaces all together. That they mark out a sacred space by creating a boundary between that sacred and the profane and in doing so it becomes important to a come near that boundary in order to transgress it or approach it through a complex interaction between religious identity and ritual purity. Starting with that fundamental point though, when we turn and we look at walls in Egyptian monasticism, we see a great anxiety about these walls...