Concise History of Monks and Monasteries

Concise History of Monks and Monasteries

by Alred Wishart
     
 

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The aim of this volume is to sketch the history of the monastic institution from its origin to its overthrow in the Reformation period, understandably, although the institution is by no means now extinct, its power was practically broken in the sixteenth century, and no new orders of importance or new types have arisen since that time.
A little reflection will… See more details below

Overview

The aim of this volume is to sketch the history of the monastic institution from its origin to its overthrow in the Reformation period, understandably, although the institution is by no means now extinct, its power was practically broken in the sixteenth century, and no new orders of importance or new types have arisen since that time.
A little reflection will enable one to understand the great difficulties in the execution of so broad a purpose. It was impracticable in the majority of instances to consult original sources, although intermediate authorities have been studied as widely as possible and the greatest caution has been exercised to avoid those errors, which naturally arise from the use of such avenues of information. It was also deemed un-advisable to burden the work with numerous notes and citations. Such notes as were necessary to a true unfolding of the subject will be found in the appendix.
A presentation of the most important features of the whole history was essential to a proper conception of the orderly development of the ascetic ideal. To understand the monastic institution one must not only study the isolated anchorite seeking a victory over a sinful self in the Egyptian desert or the monk in the secluded cloister, but he must also trace the fortunes of ascetic organizations, involving multitudes of men, vast aggregations of wealth, and surviving the rise and fall of empires. Almost every phase of human life is encountered in such an undertaking. Attention is divided between hermits, beggars, diplomatists, statesmen, professors, missionaries, and pontiffs. It is hoped the critical or literary student will appreciate the immense difficulties of an attempt to paint so vast a scene on so small a canvas. No other claim is made upon his benevolence.
There is a process of writing history, which Trench describes as “a moral whitewashing of such things as if humanity's sight was as blackamoors before.” Religious or temperamental prejudice often obscures the vision and warps the judgment of even the most scholarly minds. Conscious of this infirmity in the ablest writers of history it would be absurd to claim complete exemption from the power of personal bias. It is sincerely hoped, however, that the strongest passion in the preparation of this work has been that commendable fondness for truth and justice, which should characterize every historical narrative. Additionally, that whatever other shortcomings may be found within, there is an absence of that unreasonable suspicion, not to say hatred, of everything monastic, which mars many otherwise valuable notations and contributions to monastic history. May this begin to facilitate the understanding of those who peer in with more than curiosity. For those who seek further info, please review “The Contemplative Life” which is Volume 3 of the Research Essentials Series.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013239586
Publisher:
Revelation Insight
Publication date:
10/30/2011
Series:
Monastic Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
180
File size:
1 MB

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