The Frontiers of Paradise: Study of Monks and Monasteries

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9780002725132: The Frontiers of Paradise: Study of Monks and Monasteries

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From Library Journal:

Levi (poetry, Oxford) details the origins, culture, and everyday customs of historical, contemporary, Christian, and non-Christian monastic life. Some topics are covered extensively, e.g., suppression of monasteries under Henry VIII. Other subjects are unbelievably condensed: in the section "Missionaries," the activities of at least five monks in at least nine monasteries, and a comment about the disputed date of Easter, are compressed into a single paragraph. This abundance of detail and cursory integration of facts, as well as stylistic infelicities and inconsequential asides, make for problematic reading. Interesting assertions about the real and symbolic role of monks, but best when read as an invitation to further research. Nancy M. Laskowski, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Levi, professor of poetry at Oxford, who once lived in a religious order, observes that the monastic life is not confined to Christianity or to the West. In this engaging survey of monasticism, he touches on many historical highlights, from Indian wandering asceticsthe earliest monksthrough Egypt's hermit communities, Serbia's Holy Mountain and San Lazzaro in Venice, to the major Christian orders such as Benedictine, Gregorian, Dominician and Cistercian. Eccentrics, holy women, visionaries, mystics and refugees populate this gracefully written study. Levi also looks at monastic artstone sculpture, abbey architecture, Buddhist cave sanctuariesand investigates a Western monastic culture that embraced a regulated lifestyle, herbal medicine and a passion for scholarship.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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