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Abstract

The strict distinction and separation of mind and body is a particularly modern Western point of view that is routinely also applied to other cultures. Arguing against this dichotomy, the following contribution builds upon research on "implicit knowledge" (Michael Polanyi) and "knowing how" that allow us to view body and mind in their interaction. The focus is on Simeon Stylites the Elder, the most prominent representative of the Syrian ascetic movement, who, in a spectacular way and after incessant exercise, was able to act from a sphere of internalized body-knowledge. Selected texts on him dating from Late Antiquity will illustrate how the ascetic body was represented as a body of knowledge with which the idea of Christian perfection was to be fulfilled.

In: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte