Monastic Studies (MONS) Courses

MONS 402 Monastic History I: Pre-Benedict (3)
This course will examine the rise of monasticism within the early Church of East and West to the time of Benedict. Cross-listed with HHTH 413.

MONS 404 Monastic History II: Benedict to the Reformation (3)
The major changes in the development of Western monastic life took place during the Middle Ages. This course will address those changes, key female and male monastic figures and their writings and the reform movements from the early Middle Ages through the fifteenth century. Cross-listed with HHTH 415.

MONS 406 Monastic History III: Reformation to the Present (3)
Western monasticism experienced a decline in the sixteenth century after the suppression of the monasteries in England and later through the French Revolution, but it again revived in the nineteenth and twentieth century with foundations in the new world. The course will begin with the Reformation and address historical changes up to the Vatican Council II. Cross-listed with HHTH 417.

MONS 410 Rule of Benedict (3)
The Rule of Benedict has been foundational to Benedictine, Cistercian, Camaldolese, and Carthusian monastic ways of life. This course will address the Rule in the context of its biblical and early Church sources, exegesis of the text, and issues of interpretation.

MONS 412 Monastic Structures (1)
Students will explore the history of Benedictine monastic structures of governance, including individual monaster¬ies and congregations. Topics include the present laws governing monasteries, the rights and obligations of monastics, and visions for the future.

MONS 421 Monastic Liturgy (3)
Students will study the liturgical shape of organized monastic life: the liturgy of the hours; the Eucharist; rites of admission and profession; the consecration of virgins; the blessing of abbots and abbesses; rites of the refectory; rites of hospitality; the washing of feet; rites concerning faults, sin, and reconciliation; rites for the sick, dying, and dead.

MONS 423 Monastic Formation (3)
Monastic formation according to the Rule of Benedict encompasses living the Christian monastic life, from the stages of initial formation through ongoing formation, that is, as a lifelong conversion process. This course will focus on aspects of monastic spirituality essential to integration of the varied dimensions of the human person: thinking, spirituality, affectivity, psychology, theology, reflection, and experience. Topics will include, but will not be limited to: monastic practices of prayer, work and common life; vowed commitment; governance; growth in monastic virtues; vocational discernment; stages of the formation process; and monastic profession.

MONS 434 Monastic Spiritual Theology (3)
Students will explore the Christian monastic tradition from the perspective of monastic classics. Cross-listed with SPIR 434.

MONS 435 Christian Asceticism (3)
Christian asceticism is centered upon a discernment of motivations, influences, and goals conducted within a relationship of spiritual accompaniment by an experienced guide. The psychological and spiritual insights of many early Christian writers, especially monastic ones, are a valuable but rarely used resource for spiritual directors, pastors, counselors, and persons seeking spiritual guidance. This course will be a study of classical, early Chris¬tian, and relevant later texts which bear on issues of spiritual growth and pastoral guidance. Cross-listed with SPIR 435.

MONS 436 Bible and Prayer (3)
This course addresses early Christian and monastic attitudes toward the biblical text and the interplay between the Bible and forms of prayer. Topics will include: methods of interpreting the Bible; ways of encountering the Bible (reading, memorization, meditation); kinds of early monastic prayer and their biblical basis. There will also be some attention paid to the subsequent history of those traditions and a consideration of present-day implications. Cross-listed with SPIR 436.

MONS 437 Desert Ammas (3)
Fourth century Christianity gave birth to a spirituality which called women out of conventional understandings of wife, courtesan, and/or mother into lives of prayer, service and the founding of communal households and monasteries. This course explores writings by and about such foremothers of the monastic movement as Macrina, Melania, Paula, Eustochium, Marcella, Syncletica, Mary of Egypt, and Egeria; their social and historical realities; and their influence then and now.

MONS 468 Topics in Monastic Studies (1-3)

MONS 470 Independent Study (1-3)