Religion Past and Present

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(533 words)

[German Version]

I. In the West

The novitiate is a period of instruction and testing in monastic life before taking (temporary) vows (Profession); during this time the novice is supervised by a novice master. The novitiate, whose roots go back to early monasticism, was integrated explicitly into the 6th-century Benedictine Rule (chs. 58f.; Benedict, Rule of Saint), which dominated Western monasticism. The Decretum Gratiani (Gratian) provided for a monastic probationary period of up to three years (C. 17, q. 2, c. 3). The…

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Haering, Stephan and Schneider, Ariane, “Novitiate”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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