Benedict of Nursia. Monasticism & Benedictine Rule. Monasticism. Monasticism is the practice of living in a state of separation from the world for the purpose of attaining spiritual perfection.
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Anthony (251-256)- Egyptian Christian who lived in the deserts lands along the Nile.
We know him through Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria who was also his friend. Anthanasius wrote The life of Anthony. Though this book is full of exaggerated views and propaganda it gives insight to Monasticism in Egypt.
Simeon the Elder (390-459) also known as Simeon “Stylites.” He separated from the world by living above it. For thirty years he preached to people while living atop a small platform thirty feet in the air. He is the most famous Syrian monk.
Beginning of monasticism in Palestine is traced to Hilarion (291-371).
The purpose of The Rule was to create a communal environment.
In this environment monks can imitate Jesus rather than live in a severe asceticism and detachment of the world.
It allowed monks two meals per day and small amount of wine. Monks also had pillows, mattress and blanket for sleeping. This is very luxurious for ascetics prior to Benedict and also to any African Child.
Still, Monks were only allowed to speak when necessary and they avoided frivolous behaviors.