Date of Award
In the 3rd century CE a new variety of Christian practice emerged to popularity that took a marked turn from traditional practice. It was an ascetic movement that led many people to deny themselves bodily pleasures, and even some to self-inflict pain. There were some who chose to live a solitary life in the desert or in caves, and others lived in monasteries or isolated on top of stone pillars. This movement encouraged individuals to sell all of their belongings and rely on others' charity, or even God's grace, to survive. While asceticism had previously existed in other cultures and religions, it did not exist on any large scale in Christianity for the first 200 years. But once it arrived on the scene, it developed rapidly and became uncontrollably popular. It was formalized as monastic practice and the practitioners were called monks.
Harman, Benjamin Wade, "Treasure in Heaven: Economics and Christian Monasticism in Late Antiquity" (2014). Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects. 620.
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Departmental Honors Advisor