CH18 Monasticism


Church History: Chapter 18 – St. Benedictine and Early Monasticism

The secularization of the church had many effects, both good and bad. As the first Christian emperor, Constantine passed significant laws demonstrating a Christian influence on the state. But against this background of faith came lives of sin and disregard for the holy, which led to the rise of monasticism Among many of the monastics and the movements associated with them, we see them living in self-denial moved by a spirit of humility and love. This is particularly true of St. Benedict. Benedict was born around 480 in Nursia (modern Norcia, Italy, north of Rome). And although he was born into a family of wealthy nobility he never esteemed the world’s goods. Benedict is attributed with a creating a “Rule” to govern the monastic life in ways that make constructive Christian growth in community life.

These rules governed not only the monasteries for Benedict, but they also became the core rules for many monastic communities in Western Christendom even today.

Key Words

St. Benedictine, Constantine, secularization, “Eremitical monasticism,” “Cenobitism,” or a cloistered life. St. Pachomius. Paul the Simple, Isodore of Pelusium, Macarius the Egyptian, Simeon the Stylite, Macarius the Younger, Gregory, Gregory’s Dialogue, Enfide, Monte Cassino, Rule of St. Benedict


Speaker: W. Mark Lanier



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