Issue 93 A Devoted Life: St. Benedict & Western Monasticism

Subscribe to magazine

Subscription to Christian History magazine is on a donation basis

Subscribe
Support us

Christian History Institute (CHI) is a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation founded in 1982. Your donations support the continuation of this ministry

Donate
What's inside

Did You Know

Interesting and little-known facts about Benedictine monasticism.

The Editors

From the Editor - Rediscovering Benedict

In the midst of a frenetic modern culture, many are seeking ancient wisdom.

Jennifer Trafton

Radical Christians

Alone or in community, early monks and nuns sought to follow Christ in a whole-hearted and vividly countercultural way.

Jennifer Hevelone-Harper

The Blessing of Benedict

The "Father of Western Monasticism" spent his life teaching spiritual beginners about kindness, community, and prayer.

Carmen Acevedo Butcher

A Life of Listening

Benedict's Rule became the gold standard of monastic life.

Hugh Feiss, OSB

Converting Europe

For centuries, monks were at the center of the Western missionary enterprise.

Glenn W. Olsen

A Monk Who Made History

Bede gave us the single greatest source of information we have about Anglo-Saxon England.

Garry Crites

The Tale of Peter Abbot

One of Cluny's most “venerable” leaders believed firmly that the church is always in need of reform.

Garry Crites

Illuminating Europe

Under Charlemagne's influence, the monasteries shaped the future of Western education, trade, and even handwriting.

Thomas O. Kay with Jennifer Trafton

The Emperor's Scholar

Not everyone who influenced the development of monasticism was actually a monk. Case in point: Alcuin.

Garry Crites

Unceasing Prayer in an Uncertain World

As the peace and unity of Europe collapsed, the monastery of Cluny pointed a new way forward.

Dennis Martin

Living like a monk in the “real world”

Count Gerald of Aurillac took the values of the monastery into the realm of everyday life—and the battlefield.

Dennis Martin

Re-Monking the Church

Many Catholics and Protestants are looking back to Benedict for the community and spiritual intensity they can't find in modern culture.

Chris Armstrong

Timeline: The Rise of Western Monasticism

From its roots in the early Eastern church, through the Benedictine centuries, to the birth of new kinds of religious orders in the Middle Ages

compiled by Antonia Ryan with contributions from Carmen Acevedo Butcher

The Original Do, Re, Mi

Julie Andrews made it popular, but the real musical genius behind this singing aid was a medieval monk.

David Neff

"You have not labored in vain"

After a crushing political defeat, William Wilberforce nearly gave up his fight to abolish the slave trade. But a life-changing letter from John Newton sent this Daniel back into the lion's den.

Kevin Belmonte

Faith of Our Mothers

The history of the church would have looked very different without these famous moms.

Elesha Coffman

Living History

The settling of Jamestown; the preservation of a monastery; and recycling medieval manuscripts.

compiled by David Neff and Rebecca Golossanov

Grace is in the Details

An 18th-century book gave Richard Foster new eyes for the present moment. The ordinary had never looked so extraordinary.

Richard J. Foster

A Devoted Life: Recommended Resources

Dig deeper into this issue's theme

The authors and editors
Back issues

Subscribe to daily emails

Containing today’s events, devotional, quote and stories