School of Theology and Seminary Faculty Publications


The Origins and Fate of Monasticism

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Arts and Humanities | Christianity | History | History of Christianity | History of Religion | Religion


The process of monastic differentiation from other kinds of ascetic practice, which some now call the "invention of monasticism,"had many motives and impulses. All of them shaped the classic monastic culture that resulted. This process was not, however, the story we normally think of as the history of monasticism. Understanding the differences between the real history and the received version, why parts of the story have been privileged and others left out entirely, is a pressing issue for those of us interested not only in the past, but also in how monasticism may yet develop.


Special issue topic: On the tenth anniversary of Spiritus: Reflections.