early history of monasticism

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Early History of Monasticism. Ascetics in the Bible. Ascetics in early Judaism: Essenes. The rise of monasticism. St.Antony of Egypt. Communal monasticism. Spiritual warfare. Functions of the holy man. Temptation of Christ in the desert. Nazarites in the OT. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Early History of MonasticismAscetics in the Bible.Ascetics in early Judaism: Essenes.The rise of monasticism.St.Antony of Egypt.Communal monasticism.Spiritual warfare.Functions of the holy man.Temptation of Christ in the desert

  • Nazarites in the OTConsecrated to God and made the following vows:Abstained from wineDid not cut their hairAvoided contact with the dead bodyExample: Samson

  • Essene settlement in Qumran (second c. BC-first c. AD)Lived in an isolated community founded by the Teacher of RighteousnessRejected Temple worshipMassacred by Romans in 68 AD.

  • Dead Sea Scroll Jar from Qumran

  • John the BaptistNow John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. Mk 1: 6.

  • NT call to perfectionMatthew 19:21: If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." (cf. Evagrius, Praktikos 97)1 Corinthians 7:1-2, 7: It is well for a man not to touch a woman, but because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. . . This I say by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am.

  • Stark contrast between the cultivated land and the desert

  • Leaving everything behind...

  • Two reasons for the rise of monasticismRenewal movement within the church.Call to personal holiness.

  • Antony the Great (251?-356) founder of solitary monasticism his call Athanasius Life of St. Antony became a model

  • St Antony enjoying the company of St Paul the Hermit

  • Life was not peaceful all the time...

  • Demonic hordes attack St Antony

  • A close-up of the demonic Zoo

  • St Antonys monastery. Founded in 356.

  • Entrance towers, St Antonys monastery

  • Communal MonasticismSt Pachomius.Pachomian monasteriesPachomian Rules.Apa Menos is a friend of God

  • St. Pachomius (290-346)Founded a monastery at Tabenninsi in Egypt about 320 ADWrote the first monastic ruleAt death presided over 9 monasteries for men and 2 for women

    Pachomius & David of Thessalonica (right)

  • Main architectural features of Pachomiuss monasteryEnclosing wallGate-houseGuest-houseAssembly Hall (church or synaxis)Refectory with KitchenHospitalSeveral houses with cells for monks

  • Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai.

  • Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai.

  • Monastery of Anba Hatre in Egypt

  • Anba Hatre. Plan of the monastery.

  • Principal Church (11th c.; remains)

  • A Cell with Stone Beds

  • Spiritual warfare: five stages of sinProvocationCouplingAssentCaptivityHabit

  • Seven deadly sins

  • Goals of monastic life

    Purity of heartCeaseless prayer Life according to the BeatitudesSelf-mastery.Imitation of ChristFinal goal: eternal lifeLadder of Divine Assent: John Climachus

  • The function of the holy man in Late Antiquity Miracle-worker Patron and protector Mediator between heaven and earth Intercessor who stands outside social relations

    *Monasticism to us looks weird and useless. Why?Genealogy of modern suspicion: Luther: these monks are not doing anything, they do not produce, they do not contribute in any tangible way to society. They are a bunch of lazy-bones and hypocrites. Go back to work! Fulfill your divine calling at work (stations of life, Protestant work ethic & capitalism). Work is all consuming. We worship work and efficiency. Results: modernity has focused our best intellectual efforts and actions on human person and on this world. Contemporary churches preach mostly this-worldly Christianity, with a particular form of human interest in the center of all things and God as a means of fulfilling this form of human interest. Contemporary Christianity is a grandiose attempt to serve two masters with clean conscience: God and mammon.

    *The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When either men or women make a special vow, the vow of a nazirite, to separate themselves to the LORD, 3 they shall separate themselves from wine and strong drink;.. 5 All the days of their nazirite vow no razor shall come upon the head; until the time is completed for which they separate themselves to the LORD, they shall be holy; they shall let the locks of the head grow long. 6 All the days that they separate themselves to the LORD they shall not go near a corpse. 7 Even if their father or mother, brother or sister, should die, they may not defile themselves; because their consecration to God is upon the head. 8 All their days as nazirites they are holy to the LORD. (Laws of ritual purification follow) (Numbers, chap 6).

    *Dead Sea scrolls found in the 20th c. *Pottery jar of cylindrical form (complete), Qumran, before 68 AD, h. 43 cm, diam. 21 cm, flattening sharply at top and bottom to a 15 cm wide collared neck, and a ring base respectively, 3 handles or rather horizontal lugs on the shoulders pierced with holes through which a string could be passed to retain the lid in position, lid now missing. Context: About 40-50 jars were found in Qumran cave 1, nearly all broken and incomplete. 2 complete jars in The Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum, 1 in The John Allegro Collection, Manchester, and 1 complete and most of the broken ones at Rockefeller Museum Jerusalem, a few other broken exemplars in museums in Jordan, Western Europe and USA.Provenance: 1. Community of the Essenes, Qumran (until 68 AD); 2. Qumran cave, probably cave 1 (68- ca. 1948); 3. Members of the Ta'amireh tribe, Judaean desert (ca. 1948-1952); 4. Khalil Iskander Shakin ("Kando"), Bethlehem (ca. 1952-1953); 5. John Marco Allegro, Oxford and Manchester (1953-1963); 6. Sotheby's, London 11.11.1963:72; 7. H.M. Serota, Chicago (1963-1987); 8. Fayez Barakat, Los Angeles (1987-1991), Cat. Masterpieces in the Barakat Collection (1989):PF 1123; 9. Leonard Berman, Los Angeles (1991-1992); 10. David Goldstein, Los Angeles (1992-1993).Commentary: This MS storage jar is mentioned in John Allegro: The Dead Sea Scrolls, Middlesex, Penguin, 1956, p. 77. Illustrated in: The Allegro Qumran Collection. Supplement to the Dead Sea Scrolls on microfiche, Ed.: George J. Brooke, Leiden, E. Brill, 1996, frames 10 (B10-C10), AQ. Pots 9-19, the photos taken 1963 at Prestburg. The jar was probably found in cave 1, the starting point of the most important and widely published and controversial archaeological MS find of this century. The hoard from 11 caves consists of ca. 16 intact or mainly intact scrolls and between 15,000 and 100,000 fragments from ca. 800 scrolls, containing about 600 different texts in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The discovery was a break-through for the study of Judaism and of the Old Testament with texts about 1000 years older than the MSS of the 10th c. previously known.

    *Coptic icon. John apparel deliberately imitated that of Elijah.**Photo copyright http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/gaddis/HST354/Feb27/GrunewaldAnthony.jpg*(phony reason): smart way to avoid taxes.

    ascetic character of early Christianity: a sense of dissociation from the values of this world and embracing of the values of the kingdom of God. with Constantine Christianity became worldly. monasticism as a renewal movement within the church which attempted to bring the post-Constantinian church in line with the apostolic Christianity.

    Eusebius, Dem. Evang. 1.8. That the Christian Life is of Two Distinct Characters. THE one wrote on lifeless tables, the Other wrote the perfect commandments of the new covenant on living minds. And His disciples, accommodating their teaching to the minds of the people, according to the Master's will, delivered on the one hand to those who were able to receive it, the teaching given by the perfect master to those who rose above human nature. While on the other the side of the teaching which they considered was suitable to men still in the world of passion and needing treatment, they accommodated to the weakness of the majority, and handed over to them to keep sometimes in writing, and sometimes by unwritten ordinances to be observed by them. Two ways of life were thus given by the law of Christ to His Church. The one is above nature, and beyond common human living; it admits not marriage, child-bearing, property nor the possession of wealth, but wholly and permanently separate from the common customary life of mankind, it devotes itself to the service of God alone in its wealth of heavenly love! And they who enter on this course, appear to die to the life of mortals, to bear with them nothing earthly but their body, and in mind and spirit to have passed to heaven. Like some celestial beings they gaze upon human life, performing the duty of a priesthood to Almighty God for the whole race, not with |49 sacrifices of bulls and blood, nor with libations and unguents, nor with smoke and consuming fire and destruction of bodily things, but with right principles of true holiness, and of a soul purified in disposition, and above all with virtuous deeds and words; with such they propitiate the Divinity, and celebrate their priestly rites for themselves and their race. Such then is the perfect form of the Christian life. And the other more humble, more human, permits men to join in pure nuptials and to produce children, to undertake government, to give orders to soldiers fighting for right; it allows them to have minds for farming, for trade, and the other more secular interests |50 as well as for religion: and it is for them that times of retreat and instruction, and days for hearing sacred things are set apart. And a kind of secondary grade of piety is attribut