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RLG203 (Feb 11, 2013).docx

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Kyle Smith

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RLG203 Lecture 6 - Song: “I’ll be Around” (Yo La Tengo) - o Funding for Israel program $4000 o Deadline for most summer programs Feb 22 - Pope Benedict XVI will step down; the first pope to do so in 6 centuries o The cardinals will be “locked” and vote for a new pope o Must have 2/3 of the votes o Cardinal Marc Ouellet in Canada is a candidate; - According to the Gospels, Jesus instructed his followers to go forth and “make disciples of all nations.” o Spreading the word, gaining converts and spreading the faith? - So why have Christians often established insular communities set apart from the world? o Used as protection because of history of persecution o Not be influenced by the world - What is a monk? o Comes from the word alone or soul o Christian monasticism - The Torment of St. Antony o By Micelangelo o St. Antony is the first monk o Attacked by 8 demons - Asceticism o From the Greek world “askesis” meaning ‘practice’ or ‘training’ - The Martyr’s last prayer o The idea that Christians are a persecuted faith; even after the era of persecution has receded o Battle isn’t against gladiators and people; it’s battles against demons in the desert - The Temptation of Antony o Salvador Dali o The demons are tempting him with worldly things - Hermit o From Greek eremos meaning “desert’ or ‘wilderness’ o Leaves the city behind o Stories about martyrs were rehearsed and repeated, and stories about monks were also remembered - The Life of Antony o Athanasius of Alexandria o Amazing vocation for Christians o Long detailed story of what Antony is doing in the desert - Hagiography o Greek for ‘holy writings’ or ‘holy stories’ - Simeon the Stylite o By Louis Frederic S. o Tying a rope around himself and stood on the column for 30 years and prayed o Entire complex developed around his column o Pilgrims would come and gather dust and oil and pressed into little tokens as physical memento - But why? o When Jesus is out in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights o By following Jesus and renouncing everything - Temptations of Christ o St. Mark’s Basilica (Venice) - Ash Wednesday o 40 days of fasting before Easter - Not to succumb to the temptations o The devil is depicted as black - Jesus Tempted in the Desert o Emulating temptations of Jesus - The sayings of the Desert Fathers (book) o Things to meditate on - The wisdom of Desert Fathers and Mothers o There were also female monks? - Mother Mary of Egypt o Important during the period of fasting o Repentance of sin  Her sin: she was a prostitute and enslaved to her own lusts o went to Jerusalem and found an invisible hand not letting her permit into holy places - the stories are intended in such a way to exhort other Christians as a mean of modeling - Evagrius of Pontius o D. 399 o Sleeping with wife of important official o Leave town and became a monk o Described the demons and how they attacked and how to ward off these enemies - If they’re not sleeping, eating and drinking, they might be hallucinating and seeing demons - Logismoi = ‘thoughts’ o These are the demons, not the scaly things o 8 evil thoughts: pride, lust, anger, etc; - In western traditions, The Seven Deadly Sins and the Last Four Things - The most dangerous that’s not included in the 7 deadly sins: Acedia (boredom and listlessness) - The noonday Demon; An Atlas of Depression - Icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent o St. Catherine’s Monastery Sinai (Egypt) 6 century o Sort of like hermits, but living together o Banding of monks o Steps along the way to perfection - Pachomius of Egypt o Started to establish rules and keeping order for the monks o Not just one monk, but hundreds of people going out to the desert - Coenobite o Late Latin via Greek koinos (common) + bios (life) o Following a set of rules and practicing life in a common - Going out to the wilderness (not necessarily meaning desert with dry air and sand) - Skellig Michael (large rock) - The Rule of Saint Benedict o Fundamentally important o Included previous rules and go into greater details - Die groBe Stille (Into Great Silence) 2005 o Movie o Following the rules of Saint Benedict; 500 years later after the rules were written and it’s still o Chartreuse colour (lime green)  Herbal cocktail  Made as elixir for healing ailments o In Silence and Trust lies your strength o Slow, quiet, repetitive and boring life in the monastery - Monasteries o Precursor o University arose out of monasteries o Community of scholars; the garbs that you wore o Cloisters and why university is remodeling what happened in the monasteries o Conveyers of texts and human knowledge; old manuscripts - Books were extremely expensive; weren’t using paper, but were using vellum (skin); the aborted calf is the whitest skin o In today’s dollars, cost thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands - Beer was invented as soon as agriculture was invented o Brewing and storing beer with low alcohol content o Beer kills all the bacteria and so, it was more safe to drink than water o It’s like food because it was made from bread - Thomas Merton o His own turn of monasticism o The Seven Storey Mountain; became a complete sensation o Published after the second world war o Huge spike of people becoming monks o “God alone” - Thomas Merton with the Dali Lama in Asia near the time of his death in 1968 - Amish o Mostly mainly in the northern western US o No electricity, make their own clothes and shun all the modern conveniences to focus on God alone o Families that are raised and children are born into o They also make you have a choice; at 16, you have to leave the Amish community and go out and explore o Believed that only adult Christians can be baptized - Devil’s Playground (2002) o Amish kids o Rumspringa - Christianity (Ch.3) o Jesus instructed his devotees not to behave like overlords but to be like servants and slaves o Widely believed during the middle ages that praying to the saints could move them to intercede with God for the people for divine favours o An almost universally held belief was that the way one lived determines their everlasting fate o Benedict composed a guidebook for his companions on how they should live o The monks filled their days with liturgical and private prayer, manual labour and spiritual reading o They did not intend to shun humanity by escaping to a cloister, as it is normally thought, but to create a radically egalitarian community wherein monks are treated as brothers, all striving in concert to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ by renouncing possessions, eschewing marriage and family ties and relinquishing privilege of directing their own lives  To live like coenobites, not h
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