Tag Archives: Monasticism

#410 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conflict over Origen – Round Three

Pope Theophilis of Alexandria and the monks of Nitria clash violently over the orthodoxy of Origen.

Links:

Image of Pope Theophilus of Alexandria.

Synodal letter of Theophilus condemning Origenism

Letter of Jerome to Theophilus on Origen

OCA commemoration of 10,000 Martyred Fathers

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#410 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Conflict Over Origen – Round Three

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#408 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Empire in Decline

After the death of Theodosius the Great, the Roman Empire found itself in a precarious situation. Augustine becomes bishop of Hippo.

Links:

Image of Pendant of Maria, daughter of Stilicho, with form of Christogram by PHGCOM.

Map of final division of Roman Empire at death of Theodosius the Great

Monastic Rule of Saint Augustine

Augustine’s writings against Manicheanism

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#408 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Empire in Decline

#363 – A History of the Catholic Church – Bishop and Monk

The increasing influence of monastic leaders brought with it increasing concern from the bishops as to whether these monks would be friend or foe. One bishop, Pope Athanasius of Alexandria, worked to bring these monastics under greater episcopal control so that their power could be used for the benefit, and not to the detriment, of the Church – at least as Athanasius perceived it.

Links:

Image of Syncletica of Alexandria

Life and Sayings of Abba Pambo

Life of Amma Syncletica, reputedly by Athanasius.

Mary Forman, OSB – Amma Syncletica: A Spirituality of Experience

Sayings of Amma Syncletica

Synod of Gangra

Athanasius’ Life of Saint Anthony

David Brakke – Athanasius and the Politics of Asceticism

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#363 – A History of the Catholic Church – Bishop and Monk

#349 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Cenobites

One cannot overestimate the importance of Pachomius and Pachomian monasticism upon the development of religious life in the Catholic Church. His emphasis on the importance of living together in community as the means for obtaining holiness will not only influence monasticism throughout the East and West, it will set the foundation for all religious communities up to the present day.

Links:

Image of the prayer rope.

Information on Pachomian monasticism including links to description of Pachomian monasteries

James E Goehring, “Withdrawing from the Desert: Pachomius and the Development of Village Monasticism in Upper Egypt”, The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 89, No. 3 (July 1996), pp. 267-285.

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#349 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Cenobites

#348 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Anchorites

Alongside the rise of Christianity under the reign of Constantine also comes the rise of semi-eremetical monasticism under the examples of Amun/Ammon, founder of the communities of Nitria and Kellia, and Macarius the Great, founder of the community of Scetis. The Desert Fathers provide examples of Christian living and play important roles in Roman society.

Links:

Image of the monastic community of Kellia as it looks today by Geo24

Photographs and maps of hermitages in Egypt and Sudan

Maps and information on Nitria, Kellia and Scetis

More information on Nitria, Kellia, and Scetis – including images of monastic cells

Lucian Regnault, “The Day to Day Life of the Desert Fathers in Fourth Century Egypt”

Hugh G. Evelyn White, “The Monasteries of Wadi ‘N Natrun”

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#348 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Anchorites

#325 – A History of the Catholic Church – If You Wish To Be Perfect

anthonyofthedesert

The Little Peace of the Church meant a near forty year pause in the empire wide persecution of the Christians. During this time, the number of Christians continued to grow, but it meant a end, at least temporarily, to the possibility of martyrdom. Thus, Christians like Paul of Thebes and Anthony of the Desert will seek new opportunities to seek God and wrestle with the Devil.

Links:

Image: Cave of Saint Anthony of the Desert by LorisRomito

Saint Jerome’s Life of Saint Paul the Hermit

The Monastery of Saint Paul of Thebes

Statue of Saint Paul in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica

Saint Athanasius’ Life of Saint Anthony

Saint Anthony Resource Page

38 Sayings of Saint Anthony

Statue of Saint Antony in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica

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#325 – A History of the Catholic Church – If You Wish To Be Perfect