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Monasticism and intellectual l

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Monasticism and intellectual l

Religious and intellectual institutions underwent significant changes throughout the middle ages. In some cases, advances were made, and in others, there was a major decline. Through all of these times, the people of the middle ages learned what didn't work, what did, and how to progress once they found what did work.

The true form of monasticism in the western Christian church was founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia. He wrote the famous "Benedict's Rule" between 520-530. The fundamentals of the rule was that each day was divided into a series of activities with an emphasis on prayer and manual labor. The monks would all gather together seven times each day for prayer. These were all male institutions, however, Benedict's sister, Scholastica founded monasteries for women. Many of the texts we have today are with us because of monks. Beginning in the ninth century, the monks used scriptoria, or writing rooms, to copy different manuscripts. Between the sixth and tenth centuries, the monasteries experienced what one might call a moral decline. The purity and poverty which was the ideal for monks was being abandoned. Simony, the buying of clerical positions, was common, as was the practice of priests being married. In 910, Duke William of Aquataine wanted to do something to correct this problem. He founded the abbey of Cluny, which was an independent monastery. Cluny was kept independent from any kind of secular control. It sought to bring back the ideals of the original monasteries. This came to be known as the Cluniac movement. With the new relative stability in the church, cathedral schools developed. These were schools attached to cathedrals where religious and secular men could be trained. By the thirteenth century, there were different religious orders among the monasteries. Two main orders were the Franciscans and the Dominicans. The Franciscan order was founded by Saint Francis. They took vows of poverty and lived among the poor. They preached repentance and aided the poor. This order was attractive to many people who were disgusted with the opulent lifestyles many other religious societies lived. The Dominicans were founded by Saint Dominic. This order was made up of mendicant, or begging friars. These were learned men who wanted to protect the teachings of the church from heresy. The Dominicans established schools and also had a representative government for themselves. These were both all male orders, but new establishments for women, called Beguines, were also developed in the thirteenth century. These were poor women who were devout Christians and dedicated to prayer. They ...

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Keywords: monasticism books, monasticism in protestantism, monasticism, monastic institution

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