ABSTRACT This essay explores a fundamental connection among perception, sensation, and rational process in a selection of works within the long monastic tradition known as desert spirituality. Its focus is the embedding of intellectual judgment within bodily experience, expressed as a connection of affliction to reading andweeping to rational argument. Monastic spirituality cultivated intense sensation as an instrument of adequate judgment, and tears as purgative agents, having the potential to clear thought, not just to hinder it.
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