Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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(5,390 words)

1. Definition, Range

In the history and sociology of religion (History of Religion; Sociology of Religion), the term “monasticism” is used to refer to the form of life involving separation from most of the members of a religion for asceticism and prayer, with a view to achieving religious perfection. We find it in almost all the higher religions—that is, besides Christianity, in Jainism; all forms of Buddhism, including Lamaism (Tibetan …

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Wendebourg, Dorothea, “Monasticism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 27 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_M763>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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