Religion Past and Present

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Monastery Schools
(738 words)

[German Version]

While the ascetic motivation (Asceticism) of the monastic lifestyle is principally accompanied by a dissociation from wordly culture, both prayer and the monastic lectio divina require a certain degree of education. It was this requirement that led to the creation of monastery schools in the context of 4th-century monasticism, thus giving rise to the earliest form of Christian schooling. Children had already been educated by experienced spiritual fathers in the first cenobitic settlements of Egypt. Pachomius insisted on reading…

Cite this page
Prohl, Inken, “Monastery Schools”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 29 November 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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