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The Monastic Challenge: Remarks

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Chapter Summary

The connection with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and so with the sacrifice of Abraham and with Joseph and his brothers, transformed fatherhood into the calling of a single one; it raised fatherhood up over genealogy. The monk lives at the rim of the civilised world. His marginal existence was not likely to become a way of life for all. It is hardly surprising that the church of the bishops had its misgivings, and only with time became accustomed to these steadfastly independent monastic colonies. The angels fall and the need to re-establish rectitudo, right-ordering, between God and man, lie behind the experience of evil in the world. In Saint Anselm of Canterbury and Bernard one can see the two great figures at the twilight of the monastic age, with its constant leaning to the limits of human existence.

Keywords: Abraham; Isaac; Jacob; monastic age; monk; Saint Anselm of Canterbury

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