Asceticism and renunciation

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Journal of Early Christian Studies 8.

Asceticism and renunciation

The proponents of an ascetic theology demanded exclusiveness of devotion by faithful Christians to Christ and deduced from it the demand of celibacy. This is found in arguments for the monastic life and in the Roman Catholic view of the priesthood.

The radical-ascetic interpretation… Asceticism and renunciation origins of asceticism. Among the ancient Greeksathletes preparing for physical contests e. In order to achieve a high proficiency in the skills of warfare, warriors also adopted various ascetical practices.

The ancient Israelites, for example, abstained from sexual intercourse before going into battle. The ideal of training for a physical goal was converted to that of attaining wisdom or mental prowess by developing and training intellectual faculties.

Among the Greeks such training of the intellect led to the pedagogical system of the Sophists —itinerant teachers, writers, and lecturers of the 5th and 4th centuries bc who instructed in return for fees. Plato believed that it is necessary to suppress bodily desires so that the soul can be free Asceticism and renunciation search for knowledge.

This view was also propounded by Plotinusa Greek philosopher of the 3rd century ad and one of the founders of Neoplatonism, a philosophy concerned with hierarchical levels of reality. The 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauerfor example, advocated a type of asceticism that annihilates the will to live; his fellow countryman and earlier contemporary, the philosopher Immanuel Kantheld to a moral asceticism for the cultivation of virtue according to the maxims of the Stoics.

Many factors were operative in the rise and cultivation of religious asceticism: Among the higher religions e.

Forms of religious asceticism.

Forms of religious asceticism. In all strictly ascetic movements, celibacy q. Virgins and celibates emerged among the earliest Christian communities and came to occupy a prominent status. Among the earliest Mesopotamian Christian communities, only the celibates were accepted as full members of the church, and in some religions only celibates have been permitted to be priests e.

Abdication of worldly goods is another fundamental principle. In monastic communities there has been a strong trend toward this ideal. In Christian monasticism this ideal was enacted in its most radical form by Alexander Akoimetos, a founder of monasteries in Mesopotamia died c.

Centuries before the activities of the medieval Western Christian monk St. Francis of AssisiAlexander betrothed himself to poverty, and through his disciples he expanded his influence in Eastern Christian monasteries.

Asceticism - Wikipedia

These monks lived from the alms they begged but did not allow the gifts to accumulate and create a housekeeping problem, as occurred among some Western monastic orders, such as the Franciscans.

In the East, wandering Hindu ascetics and Buddhist monks also live according to regulations that prescribe a denial of worldly goods.

Abstinence and fasting are by far the most common of all ascetic practices.

Asceticism and renunciation

Among the primitive peoples, it originated, in part, because of a belief that taking food is dangerous, for demonic forces may enter the body while one is eating. Further, some foods regarded as especially dangerous were to be avoided.

Fasting connected with religious festivals has very ancient roots. In ancient Greek religionrejection of meat appeared particularly among the Orphics, a mystical, vegetarian cult; in the cult of Dionysus, the orgiastic god of wine; and among the Pythagoreans, a mystical, numerological cult.

The ordinary fasting cycles, however, did not satisfy the needs of ascetics, who therefore created their own traditions. Among Jewish-Christian circles and Gnostic movements, various regulations regarding the use of vegetarian food were established, and Manichaean monks won general admiration for the intensity of their fasting achievements.

Christian authors write of their ruthless and unrelenting fasting, and, between their own monks and the Manichaeans, only the Syrian ascetical virtuosos could offer competition in the practice of asceticism.

Everything that could reduce sleep and make the resultant short period of rest as troublesome as possible was tried by Syrian ascetics.

In their monasteries Syrian monks tied ropes around their abdomens and were then hung in an awkward position, and some were tied to standing posts. Personal hygiene also fell under condemnation among ascetics. In the dust of the deserts—where many ascetics made their abodes—and in the blaze of the Oriental sunshine, the abdication of washing was equated with a form of asceticism that was painful to the body.

Ilaria L.E. Ramelli

With respect to the prohibition against washing, the Persian prophet Mani seems to have been influenced by those ascetic figures who had been seen since ancient times in India, walking around with their long hair hanging in wild abandonment and dressed in filthy rags, never cutting their fingernails and allowing dirt and dust to accumulate on their bodies.

Another ascetic practice, the reduction of movement, was especially popular among the Syrian monks, who were fond of complete seclusion in a cell.

The practice of restriction in regard to contact with human beings culminated in solitary confinement in wildernesses, cliffs, frontier areas of the desert, and mountains. In general, any settled dwelling place has been unacceptable to the ascetic mentality, as noted in ascetical movements in many religions.

Psychological forms of asceticism have also been developed.This dissertation examines the representation of ascetic renunciation in early modern drama, focusing in particular on the way asceticism functions as a tool of political agency.

This study argues that the act of renunciation is essentially. Related to asceticism is the Protestant work ethic, which consists of a radical requirement of accomplishment symbolized in achievement in one’s profession and, at the same time, demanding strict renunciation of the enjoyment of material gains acquired legitimately.

A study of how asceticism was promoted through Biblical interpretation, Reading Renunciation uses contemporary literary theory to unravel the writing strategies of the early Christian authors. Not a general discussion of early Christian teachings on celibacy and marriage, the book is a close.

Jun 17,  · The author reads an essay showing that celibate, vegetarian, teetotalling contemplative asceticism and renunciation is actually true joy, happiness and . The renunciation tradition is called Sannyasa, and this is not the same as asceticism – which typically connotes severe self-denial and self-mortification.

Sannyasa often involved a simple life, one with minimal or no material possessions, study, meditation and ethical living. Asceticism, Renunciation and the One by Eric S. Fallick The One, the Good, the Absolute, the Unconditioned, God, the ultimate transcendent Reality, the Noumenon, the Source and Origin of all, That on Which all depend and within Which all exist, That from Which we come and to Which we return, the.

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