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Jesus In Every Age. Session Three: Jesus, the Monk Who Ruled the World. Saint Benedict ( 480 – 547) : The Rise of Monasticism. The rise of institutional Christianity (the Pantocrator ) and Christian prosperity goes hand-in-hand with the desert fathers, and early monasticism.

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saint benedict 480 547 the rise of monasticism
Saint Benedict (480 – 547): The Rise of Monasticism
  • The rise of institutional Christianity (the Pantocrator) and Christian prosperity goes hand-in-hand with the desert fathers, and early monasticism.
  • Benedict began his formal ministry as a hermit. Followers gathered around him, and he established a Rule of Life for these communities, one of the most influential Christian documents of the western Church.
  • The Rule: The attempt to carve out a space for a deeper relationship with Christ, a Lord who demands total commitment.
    • A life of attainable sacrifice ordered towards a life of humility.
    • Based on biblical teachings and example of Jesus
    • An all-encompassing pattern of life that deals largely with daily practicalities- ora et labora, work and prayer.
  • Benedicts Monasticism was Hugely Influential in Shaping the History of Christianity in the West
bernard of clairvaux 1090 1153 and the cistercians divine love
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) and the Cistercians: Divine Love
  • Cistercians as reform Benedictine order
  • Rapid growth during the life of Bernard, who became abbot of Clairvaux at age 25
  • In the Cistercian cloister, mystical theology of ascent blossomed, drawing on Platonist influence through Pseudo-Dionysius
    • Via purgativa, via illuminativa, via unitiva
  • Song of Songs in the Medieval Cloister
    • Why was this reading so appealing in monastic communities?
  • Jesus as the Beloved Lover
  • Jesus as the model of Humility
  • Jesus as the object of Conversion and Union with Him. How do we know God?
    • Mystical Union and ascent.
    • Know Thyself
    • Christ as the perfect Imago Dei- Image of God
francis of assisi 1182 1226 the friars
Francis of Assisi (1182-1226): The Friars
  • The Humanity of Christ
    • Holy Poverty
    • The Humility of Christ
    • The wounds of Christ
    • The Body and Blood of Christ
  • Imitatio Christi (the Imitation of Christ) being at the heart of Christian life. Doing penance is living the life of Christ’s simplicity in order to receive Christ and his blessings.
  • Friars: Living in, but not of the world
  • A preaching order.
st thomas aquinas 1225 1274
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
  • A Dominican friar
  • University of Paris, medieval Scholasticism
  • Aristotelian Synthesis
    • Image of God resides largely in potential human intellectual capacity
    • Relation to Christ as model and Savior which enables growth in the virtues.
    • Eucharistic Theology and Piety: Corpus Christi- centers thinking even more intensely on sacrifice and the death of Christ (cult of the precious blood, flagellants, etc)
  • Christ as the Perfect Friend and the telos (goal) of human life.