Religious Communities - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 30 pages of information about Religious Communities.
This section contains 3,896 words
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Origins

For centuries, Christian apologists have attempted to find a basis for religious orders in the historical ministry and teaching of Jesus. An early example may be seen in the Life of Antony by Athanasius (c. 298–373), which reports Antony of Egypt's (c. 250–355) conversion to a solitary life of prayer and asceticism after hearing Jesus' words in church: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor … and come, follow me" (Mt. 19:21). This biography helped spread monastic ideals throughout the Roman empire and encouraged the notion that to live alone with God, apart from all human company, is the supreme Christian response to Jesus' message.

There is no clear evidence that Jesus himself observed or promoted the ascetic life, or directly invited or commanded his followers to choose a life of poverty, celibacy, and obedience to human superiors. Central...

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This section contains 3,896 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Religious Communities Encyclopedia Article
Copyrights
Encyclopedia of Religion
Religious Communities from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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