Christian Monasticism in the Middle Ages Term Paper by Master Researcher

Christian Monasticism in the Middle Ages
An examination of monasticism during the Middle Ages.
# 38646 | 1,900 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 14, 2003 in History (Religion) , Religion and Theology (Christianity)

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This paper examines Christian monasticism in the Middle Ages and explains how this monasticism was a response to the declining piety of society and the wider Church community under the influence of Platonic dualism. The paper addresses its origins in St. Benedict and discusses the development, evolution, and importance of monasticism and monasteries.


From the Paper:

"In the Dark Ages asceticism was not without precedent. Christian ascetics isolated themselves from society. (The stylites actually resided on small platforms atop pillars to ensure their isolation.) Their model was John the Baptist, who had preached in the wilderness, and maintained a strictly ascetic lifestyle. Despite the fact that monasticism, as it developed in the Dark Ages, was communal its inspiration lay in these earlier ascetics and their attempts to isolate themselves from the 'sinfulness' of the wider world.
"At this juncture the etymology of monasticism demands examination. According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary the words monasticism and monastery have as their root the Latin word, monos, meaning alone. This sense of aloneness or isolation from the world captures the link between monasticism and earlier ascetics. Monasteries were seen as communities isolated from the temporal confusion of the Dark Ages. They were intended to be islands of spirituality in a world 'gone wrong'. Although the monks did not live strictly alone they were attempting to live apart from the world, leading an intensely spiritual and devout life in an isolated community of believers."

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