Assessment of Causes and Effects of Monasticism from Kingdom of God Perspective: Then and Now

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Assessment of Causes and Effects of Monasticism from Kingdom of God Perspective: Then and Now

Rukuzo Ruho

Introduction
“To truly seek God” is for Benedict the very essence of monastic life. Monasticism is an ascetic system of living apart from the world: to be one with God.1 It has its derivation from the Greek word monastis meaning monk from the root word monos meaning alone. This article is an attempt to see the rise and development – the causes and later its effects. Against such a backdrop, it will be the effort of the presenter to explore how context places a demand on any theological enterprise to treat it (context) justly. Upon such a just consideration, will an authentic theology or movement take shape as is found to be true even in the case of Monasticism. Subsequently, if ‘Kingdom of God’ is about that state of peace, righteousness, justice and love that God gives to the world in the present and to consummate upon the future where none is excluded; an attempt is made to explore whether Monasticism does ,in some way, aid in the ushering of that sort of kingdom.

1. Rise and development of Monasticism
Monasticism is an attempt to develop and regulate the exercise of asceticism and mysticism. It can by no means be purely called a creation of Christianity because long before the Christian era, a highly organized Monasticism existed in India and parts of Asia.2 Greek asceticism and mysticism seems never to have produced monastic system; but among the Jews, both in Judea and Alexandria, this development took place. In Judea, the Essenes before the time of Christ, lived a peaceful monastic life. The same is also true in regards to the Therapeutae, who lived near Alexandria. On the one hand, a general sketch of pre-Christian asceticism and



Bibliography: Cairns, Earle E. Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996. Cooper, J. C. Cassell Dictionary of Christianity. London: Wellington House, 1997. Daneilou, Jean & Henri Marrou. A New History of the Catholic Church. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1979. Daneilou, Jean and Henri Marrou, The Christian Centuries Vol. I, The First Six Hundred Years. Tranbslated by Vincent Crionin. London: Darton,Longman and Todd Ltd. 1964 Dodge, John V Dowley, Tim. A Lion Handbook: The History of Christianity. Oxford: Lion Publishing Plc., 1990. Lane, A.N.S. “Monastic Theology” edited by Ferguson, Sinclair B. & David F. Wright. New Dictionary of Theology. Illinois: Inter-varsity press. 1994. Frend, W. H. C. The Rise of Christianity. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1989. Grenz, Stanley J. Theology for the Community of God. Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000. Hastings, Adrian. A World History of Christianity. London: Wellington House, 1999. Hrangkhum, F Irvin, Dale T. and Scott W. Sanquist. History of the World Christian Movement. Vol.I. New York: Orbis Books, 2001. Rausch, Thomas P. “Kingdom of God” The Catholic Dictionary of Spirituality. Edited by Michael Downey. Bangalore Theological Publications in India, 2003. Ridderbos, H Swindoll, Charles R. Devotions for Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994. Walker, Williston. A History of the Christian Church. Edingburgh: T & T Clark, 1959. Walker, Williston. and Richard A. Norris. Eds. A History of the Christian Church. 4th Edition. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Ltd., 1986.

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