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The Monastic Crisis of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries

  • Jean Leclercq
Part of the Readings in European History book series (SEURH)

Abstract

The earliest documentary evidence of monasticism in the west shows it already existing in two distinct forms, urban and rural: the secluded life was led either in or near a town, or, on the other hand, deep in the country. Both forms were considered authentic, and they had in common the fundamental characteristic of the vocation of certain Christians — separation from the world, in order to seek God wholeheartedly and love him alone. In a text attributed to St Valéry of Bierzo, a Spanish ascetic of the seventh century, the two forms of monasticism are described and carefully differentiated. The author makes no secret of the fact that he considers the life of town monks more meritorious, for though they live near other men, and even right amongst them, they manage to avoid being contaminated by worldly thoughts.2

Keywords

Twelfth Century Eleventh Century Solitary Life General Chapter Powerful Voice 
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References

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1971

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  • Jean Leclercq

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