A form of religious life that emphasizes the perfection of the individual through immersion in a consecrated community or, more rarely, through a solitary and ascetic existence. Monasticism is found in both Buddhism and Christianity, particularly in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Although it began as a lay movement in Christianity, clergy soon came to dominate and it began to involve voluntary poverty and a life devoted to worship.

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A form of religious life that emphasizes the perfection of the individual through immersion in a consecrated community or, more rarely, through a solitary and ascetic existence. Monasticism is found in both Buddhism and Christianity, particularly in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Although it began as a lay movement in Christianity, clergy soon came to dominate and it began to involve voluntary poverty and a life devoted to worship. The rule of Benedict was the most important early monastic legislation and it became the standard of Western Christian monasticism. The mendicant orders, which combined monastic life with missionary work and preaching, were created in the 13th century. Scholarship was emphasized in some medieval monastic systems, which led to important religious research and manuscripts.

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  1. 1.   Overview of Monasticism  ← you are here
  2. 2.   Sources for Monasticism (1)

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Title
Monasticism
Date Published
December 12, 2012
Last Updated
April 22, 2021