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Medieval Monasticismby C. H. Lawrence
Synopses & Reviews
"Professor Lawrence goes straight to the head of the class for his brilliant survey", wrote the Journal of Ecclesiastical History on the publication of Medieval Monasticism. This thoroughly revised and updated Third Edition retains the qualities of the original, phenomenally successful book.
For a thousand years the monasteries and religious orders were a prominent feature of the social landscape of the West, and the service they rendered to European civilization is incalculable. Richly endowed by kings and magnates, the great monastic houses and their leaders figured as much on the political as on the spiritual map of the medieval world.
Hugh Lawrence traces the Western monastic tradition from its fourth-century origins in the deserts of Egypt and Syria, through the many and various forms of religious life it assumed during the Middle Ages. As well as reconstructing the internal life, experience and aims of the medieval cloister, he also expores the many-sided relationships between the monasteries and the secular world around them.
In this Third Edition Professor Lawrence has added or elaborated on a number of important themes such as the impact of the friars on the religious experience of their time, the controversy between the Benedictines and the champions of the Cistercian movement of the twelfth century, and even new details of monastic lodgers and of monastic food.
C .H. Lawrence was from 1970 to 1987 Professor of Medieval History in the University of London, where he is now Professor Emeritus.
Book News Annotation:
This is a good, basic introduction to the history of monasticism, suitable for undergraduates and interested readers new to the subject or as a general reference for medievalists. Following chapters on the beginning of monasticism with the desert fathers, St. Benedict and his Rule, Lawrence (emeritus, history, U. of London, England) provides a description and history for orders created by the 13th century, and includes separate chapters on nuns and military orders. New to this edition is extended treatment of both the impact of the friars of the 13th century and the 12th-century controversy between the Benedictines and Cistercians.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Hugh Lawrence's book ranges right across Europe and the Middle East as well as reconstructing the internal life, experience and aims of the medieval cloister, he also explores the many-sided relationships between the monasteries and the secular world from which they drew recruits. This Third Edition contains new thoughts and perspectives throughout.
Table of Contents
1. The call of the desert.2. The rule of St Benedict.3. Wandering saints and princely patrons.4. England and the continent.5. The emperor and the rule.6. The age of cluny.7. The cloister and the world.8. The quest for the primitive.9. The Cistercian model10. The new monasticism versus the old.11. A new kind of knighthood.12. Sister or handmaids.13. The Friars.14. Epilogue: The individual and the community.
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