Book: The Use and Dissemination of Religious Knowledge in Antiquity
Chapter: 9. The Dissemination of Religious Knowledge through Apocrypha in Egyptian Monasteries
This article addresses the dissemination of religious knowledge by means of apocryphal texts and traditions transmitted in Egyptian monasteries from late antiquity to the early Islamic period. Placing the apocryphal texts of the Nag Hammadi Codices within the broader context of Egyptian monastic literary practices, looking at monastic manuscript collections from the fourth to the twelfth centuries, the paper argues that the production and use of Apocrypha was not a marginal phenomenon in Egyptian monasticism. On the contrary, the transmission of Apocrypha played a significant role in the distribution of religious knowledge.