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Lecture 7

MMW 12 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Reliquary, Tonsure, Rule Of Saint Benedict

Making of the Modern World
Course Code
MMW 12
Janet Smarr

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1/30/17 Lecture Monasticism
Life without taxes and military service, no personal freedom. You are obeying the rules of the
Appeal of Monasticism:
Asceticism - focus on spiritual life, vs materialism of empire/church
Church itself was becoming wealthy
They wanted a more spiritual way to live. Very peaceful life.
Very structured and daily routine
It is a way to live humbly
Once the Church became legal, you couldn’t really die from your faith.
Giving up the world and going into monastery was a way of dying in the world
Alternative to a life of constant warfare - no military service
No taxes - and no private property
Structured, fairly secure daily routine
Moderate humble simplicity - vs. excessive feats of ascesticism
Institutionalized “martyrdom” - a way to show devotion
Joining monastery = legal equivalent of dying, living in paradise
Anthony = 1st Christian hermit (3rd c., Egypt)
18 year old
He heard the preacher reading from the Gospel of Matthew
Gave everything he had and lived as a hermit in the desert
Other people joined him
Augustine: Admired Anthony and followed in his footstep
Jerome (4th c. Rome)
translated Bible into Latin
advocate for monastic
Preaching in Rome and then left Rome to go live in a cave
Persuade rich Roman women to leave Rome too
Fasting, seeking, praying
Very influential preacher in Rome
"Do you disparage wedlock?”
By 800, there are thousands of Monasteries
Benedict (early 6th c. Italy)
Wrote the Rule for monastic life
“ora et labora” = pray and work
Monks = exempt from secular laws
By c.800 thousands of monasteries throughout Europe & Byzantium
Benedictine Rule includes vows of:
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