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Lesson 14 Monasticism Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Rev. Dr. Gary 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 08:55 AM

This is for questions pertaining to Lesson 14.

1. Why did people choose to become monastics in the twilight of the Roman Empire?

2. What was the difference between monasticism in the East and monasticism in the West?

3. What were the positive contributions of monasticism? What were the negative consequences of monasticism?

This post has been edited by Rev. Dr. Gary: 30 July 2008 - 08:34 AM

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#2 User is offline   Frank Selden 

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 06:48 AM

View PostRev. Dr. Gary, on Jul 29 2008, 04:55 PM, said:

This is for questions pertaining to Lesson 14.

1. Why did people choose to become monastics in the twilight of the Roman Empire?

Spiritual reasons:
- The dualism doctrine of flesh being bad and the spirit being good pushed people to deny the flesh to become more spiritual
- Some parts of Scripture appear to support the notion of separation from the world
- church purists rebelled against the growing number of barbarians crowding into the church

Psychological reasons:
- Many people left society for the monastery as a way to seek refuge from the hard realities and moral rot of the times
- Those who wanted martyrdom as a pledge of their faith found a psychological substitute in the self-denying practices of monasticism
- Monasticism gave a more individualistic approach to God and salvation than the formal corporate worship of the times

2. What was the difference between monasticism in the East and monasticism in the West?

Monasticism in the East practiced more self-denial even just for self-denial's sake and revolved less around community. Monasticism in the west included stronger communal organization so that warm structures and food could be obtained. It rejected idleness and abhorred acts of self-denial that were only for its own sake. Work and devotion went hand-in-hand.

3. What were the positive contributions of monasticism? What were the negative consequences of monasticism?

Positive:
- The monks practiced better farming methods than many of their neighboring communities. Since knowledge spread among the monastic community better than between villages the monks were often in a better position to educate the community about best practices than the local lords. The monks cleared the forests, drained the marshes, made roads, and improved seeds and breeds of livestock.
- Monasteries kept scholarship alive during the Dark Ages when urban life was upset by the invasion of the barbarians
- Monastery schools provided education on the lower levels to those nearby who wanted it.
- Monks copied manuscripts to preserve them for posterity.
- Monasteries were a refuge for the outcasts of society who were in need of help including for medical attention.

Negative:
- Too many of the best men and women of the Roman Empire were siphoned into the monasteries.
- The celibate lifestyle kept these able men and women from marriage and the rearing of able children thus perpetuating their traditions in society through strong families.
- Sometimes monasticism only served spiritual pride as the monastics became proud of acts of self-denial performed only for the benefit of their own souls.
- The monasteries became wealthy through community thrift and ownership, but that wealth led to laziness, greed, and gluttony.

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#3 User is offline   graham 

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:30 AM

1. Why did people choose to become monastics in the twilight of the Roman Empire?

The monastic vocation attracted many at this time as it seemed to offer the right atmosphere within which to contemplate the eternal mysteries and to dedicate oneself to a life of prayer and meditation. It was believed that a total retreat from the sinful world coupled with a regimen of self-denial was helpful to one's immortal soul. Many also felt that the monasteries offered the purest form of Christian worship which was gradually disappearing from the expanding, hierarchical and organised church and being adulterated by the introduction of dubious quasi-pagan practices. The monastic lifestyle began to develop during C4 AD and was well established in both the Eastern and Western churches by the end of C6 AD.

It is also arguable that a form of crisis psychology led many to embrace the monastic life as a form of escapism from the brutal realities of the world at a time when the Roman Empire was disintegrating under pressure from the barbarian hordes.

2. What was the difference between monasticism in the East and monasticism in the West?

In the East, monasticism tended to spring from the 'hermit mentality' manifest by Anthony (251-356) in Egypt when he retired from wordly life at the age of twenty in order to live a solitary and spiritual life. Anthough he never organised any monastic community, his example attracted many followers who venerated him and formed communities in the vicinity. Later, Basil of Caesarea (330-379) popularised the notion of organised monastic communities and enjoined specific obligations upon the monks such a work, prayer, bible study and good works. Whereas extreme self-denial had been a feature of many Eastern communities and individual hermits, Basil opposed this and his ideas were more in line with those of Western monastic pioneers.

Western monasticism embraced the idea of organised, sheltered communities much earlier if only for climatic reasons! An especially influential and paradigmatic figure was Benedict (480-543) whose house at Monte Casino became the template for other founders. A strict regime of work and devotion was undertaken by the monks and this was codified in his 'Rule' enjoining inter al poverty, chastity and obedience. Over the next five centuries many Benedictine monasteries were established throughout Western Europe. Discipline and community worship were, therefore, much more marked from the outset in the West.

3. What was the positive contribution of monasticism? What were its negative consequences?

The positive effects of monasticism were many and varied and include the provision of alms and education, scholarly works such as the Book of Kells and Bede's Ecclesiastical History, misssionary activity such as that undertaken by Columba and Aidan , hospitality for travellers and good farming practices that assisted neighbouring villages. They provided centres of relative stability and civilised virtues in an uncertain and volatile period.

Negative features include the effect of mass conversions which introduced dubious practices and token converts into the church, the removal of many talented and virtuous people from secular society and a form of spiritual arrogance which interpreted extreme self-denial as akin to martyrdom. Over time, the increasing institutionalisation of religious houses and orders and a close association with the state, led to many corrupt practices and the amassing of wealth and power which was no longer used to help the community. This led to the tidal wave of condemnation spearheaded by Erasmus and Luther (and much earlier expressed by Mathew Paris) which precipitated the onset of the Reformation and the Counter (or Catholic) Reformation.
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#4 User is offline   Edward lindsay 

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:29 PM

1. Basically they just quit on society and it gave them a defiance so they just gave up everything to live in caves and seclusion in order to gain spiritual contemplation from a life of self denial.


2. The difference was the west had communal organization where as the east chose the hermit lifestyle.


3. The positive was improved farming and agricultural practices and education, they were a refuge for the sick and developed hospitals the downside was to many of the good men and women of the Roman Empire were siphoned into monasteries there skills were ultimately lost. Also the standard of morality or celibacy was instilled they became wealthy threw community thrift and ownership that wealth lead to laziness, greed,and gluttony.
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#5 User is offline   AmyLong 

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:38 PM

1. In times of ciaos in religion people turn to seclusion for personal holiness. They believe that their believe and personal relationship with God can be attained easier if they can control the atmosphere in which it is observed. This giving them less stumbling blocks to falter. When The Roman Empire was torn apart by all of the different beliefs it was easier for those who wanted to find an sewers to seek them off by themselves.


2. In the west because of the cold weather their was more organization and communal living was more scary. It helped to provide warmer structures and food. They worked together and their devotion to God was also shared. In the East it was more of a lonely institution. There were many hermits and those who wanted a relationship with God and no one else.


3. The positive points were the farming and agricultural skills that they developed for today, the education that they gave people back then that lead to the intelligence of today, the copying of important manuscripts in use even today, along with many more things that they achieved. The negative points that they accomplished were. Some good women and men were taken from society and they never got to give their influence to society. They were commit ed to being celibate so they never got to give to society their offspring that could have been very influential to society, some also became very lazy and greedy and expected to be taken care of by the community.
Gwen Simpson
I have been ordained through the Universal Life Church , and I post spiritual articles at ULC and at the Universal Life Church Seminary course listings. I'm also a martial artist and I teach Sacramento Martial Arts. I support the Universal Life Church Article Directory, and have blogs that contain ULC Seminary Essays and Wedding Ceremonies.
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#6 User is offline   AmyLong 

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 11:37 AM

Master of Christian History - Lesson #14 (Monasticism)
by Bro. Jim DeManche



1. Why did people choose to become monastics in the twilight of the Roman Empire?



Several things happened to foster monasticism in the ancient church. The dualism of flesh and spirit with the flesh being bad and the spirit being good, which was characteristic of the Orient, influenced Christianity through Gnosticism and Neoplatonism. It was assumed that a retreat from the world would help the person to die to the flesh and to nurture a spiritual life through meditation and acts of self-denial.



Some parts of Scripture appear to support the notion of separation from the world like the Apostle Paulís seemingly positive advocacy of the celibate life in 1 Corinthians 7. Early church fathers like Origen, Cyprian, Tertullian, and Jerome insisted on celibacy as the correct interpretation of such Scriptures.





2. What was the difference between monasticism in the East and monasticism in the West?



Monasticism experienced four main stages in its spread throughout Western civilization. Self-denial was practiced by many people in the church. Many people later retreated from society to live as hermits. The holiness of these hermits drew others who would reside in nearby caves so that they could be led by these hermits. Cloisters later developed to host common exercises. Finally organized communal life within a monastery came into being. It began in the East in the 4 th century A.D. and from there spread to the Western church.





3. What were the positive contributions of monasticism? What were the negative consequences of monasticism?



Monasteries were a refuge for the outcasts of society who were in need of help. They were also the first hospitals because many of the physically sick usually found loving care there. Tired travelers got food, drink, and lodging at the hospice within the monastery. Those who were sick of the worldliness of their day found refuge at the monastery. Some of the best leaders of the medieval church, like Pope Gregory VII, came from monasteries.



There was however a downside to the monastic life. Too many of the best men and women of the Roman Empire were siphoned into the monasteries. Their abilities were lost to the world, a world that desperately needed them and those abilities. The celibate lifestyle kept these able men and women from marriage and the rearing of able children. This ultimately resulted in one standard of morality for the monastics [celibacy] and another for the ordinary person.



Many times monasticism only served spiritual pride as the monastics became proud of acts of self-denial performed only for the benefit of their own souls. The monasteries became wealthy through community thrift and ownership, but that wealth led to laziness, greed, and gluttony.
I have been ordained through the Universal Life Church , and I post spiritual articles at ULC and at the Universal Life Church Seminary course listings. I'm also a martial artist and I teach Sacramento Martial Arts. I support the Universal Life Church Article Directory, and have blogs that contain ULC Seminary Essays and Wedding Ceremonies.
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#7 User is offline   djuliano67 

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:25 AM

This is for questions pertaining to Lesson 14.

1.Why did people choose to become monastics in the twilight of the Roman Empire?

Itwas a way to escape the decline of the empire and to be protected from the deteriorationof society.

2. Whatwas the difference between monasticism in the East and monasticism in the West?

Easternwas more of solitary practice or self-denial and reflection while the Westernbecame communal in nature simply because it was necessary to survive in thoseareas which required buildings and growing of food.

3. Whatwere the positive contributions of monasticism? What were the negativeconsequences of monasticism?

Theyhelped develop new farming techniques; they help continue education through thedark ages and also helped keep writings that would have been lost safe. On the downside, it took some of the bestpeople of the dark ages and kept them from having families and leaving societywithout a strong moral compass to guide it.


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