Certainly the asceticism and ritualism might so be interpreted, for there was among the Jews of the Dispersion an increasing tendency to asceticism, by way of protest against the excesses of the Gentiles.
Resistance to sensuality was one aspect of the struggle, and asceticism was not unknown.
Then again asceticism sometimes changes into wild libertinism.
Even the author of the OcOaxrt finds it necessary to defend the prophets who practised celibacy and strict asceticism against the depreciatory criticism of church members.
One can readily understand the popularity of the Crusades, when one reflects that they permitted men to get to the other world by fighting hard on earth, and allowed them to gain the fruits of asceticism by the ways of hedonism.
8 Asceticism was bound up with the gnostic depreciation of the body.
Asceticism is thus the counterpart of medieval mysticism; and, by his example as well as by his teaching in such passages, St Bernard unhappily encouraged practices which necessarily resulted in self-delusion.
A highly sensitive and imaginative child, she very early began to practise asceticism and see visions, and at the age of seven solemnly dedicated her virginity to Christ.
With Therasia (now a sister, not a wife), while leading a life of rigid asceticism, he devoted the whole of his vast wealth to the entertainment of needy pilgrims, to payment of the debts of the insolvent, and to public works of utility or ornament; besides building basilicas at Fondi and Nola, he provided the latter place with a muchneeded aqueduct.
The contemplative asceticism of the Essenes of Judaea may be mentioned, and, somewhat later, the life of the Therapeutae on the shores of Lake Moeris.
In matters of dress the asceticism of the society was very pronounced.
Thus at several points Plato reveals germs of dualism and asceticism.
Again he urges, that since redemption is in Christ alone, and that, too, full redemption and on the basis of faith alone, the demand for asceticism and meaningless ceremonies is folly, and moreover robs Christ, in whom dwells the divine fulness, of His rightful supremacy (ii.
See also Asceticism.
a peculiarly fruitful soil for mysticism, and, in connexion either with the Beguines or the Church organization, a number of women appear about this time, combining a spirit of mystical piety and asceticism with sturdy reformatory zeal directed against the abuses of the time.
He differs from Schopenhauer in making salvation by the "negation of the Will-to-live" depend on a collective social effort and not on individualistic asceticism.
Joachim, however, was unable to continue his abbatial functions in the midst of his labours in prophetic exegesis, and, moreover, his asceticism accommodated itself but ill with the somewhat lax discipline of Corazzo.
Thus it encouraged an unrestrained emotionalism, rank superstition, an unhealthy asceticism, and the employment of artificial means to induce the ecstatic state.
Subsequently he gave himself up to a life of solitary asceticism in a Bithynian monastery, and is said, probably wrongly, to have remained some time in a monastery on Mount Athos.
With this pantheistic Gnosticism is associated a severe asceticism.
It seems to have arisen in Gnostic circles, and its tendency is wholly in favour of asceticism and celibacy.
But while there is in Luke's Gospel this strain of asceticism -as to many in modern times it will appear to be-the prevailing spirit is gentle and tender, and there is in it a note of spiritual gladness, which is begun by the song and the messages of angels and the hymns and rejoicing of holy men and women, accompanying the birth of the Christ (chaps.
The natural concomitant in conduct of such a belief is an uncompromising asceticism.
Hence we shall not be surprised to find that the two tendencies are fully represented in primitive Christianity, and, still more strange as it may appear, that New Testament apocalyptic found a more ready hearing amid the stress and storm of the 1st century than the prophetic side of Christianity, and that the type of the forerunner on the side of its declared asceticism appealed more readily to primitive Christianity than that of Him who came "eating and drinking," declaring both worlds good and both God's.
In their new environment the Nestorians abandoned some of the rigour of Catholic asceticism, and at a synod held in 499 abolished clerical celibacy even for bishops and went so far as to permit repeated marriages, in striking contrast not only to orthodox custom but to the practice of Aphraates at Edessa who had advocated celibacy as a condition of baptism.
Hence pleasure is, on the whole, good, and asceticism reprehensible, although in man's case there has arisen (owing to the rapidity of evolution) a certain derangement and divergence between the pleasant and the salutary (§ 39).
Tarentum alone, partly from Spartan origin, partly through stress of local conditions, shows traces of militant asceticism for a while.
Through the influence of Samuel Wilberforce, he was offered the post of sub-almoner to Queen Victoria, always recognized as a stepping-stone to the episcopal bench, and his refusal of it was honourably consonant with all else in his career as an Anglican dignitary, in which he united pastoral diligence with an asceticism that was then quite exceptional.
He entrusted the government to the Jesuits; refused either to summon the Cortes or to marry, although the Portuguese crown would otherwise pass to a foreigner, and devoted himself wholly to hunting, martial exercises and the severest forms of asceticism.
The Manichaean system of dualism, with its severe asceticism, and its individualism, which early passed into antinomianism, was attractive to many minds in the awakening of the 11th century.
This account sufficiently shows the difference of the Waldenses from the Cathari: they were opposed to asceticism, and had no official priesthood; at the same time their objection to oaths and to capital punishment are closely related to the principles of the Cathari.
He resolved, accordingly, to retire to a life of study and contemplation, though he indulged in no asceticism except careful diet.
As monk in the neighbouring monastery of Euprepius, and afterwards as presbyter, he became celebrated in the diocese for his asceticism, his orthodoxy and his eloquence; hostile critics, such as the church historian Socrates, allege that his arrogance and vanity were hardly less conspicuous.
The new piety did not set itself in opposition either to the hierarchy or to the institutions of the Church, such as the sacraments and the discipline of penance, nor did it reject those foreign elements (asceticism, worship of saints and the like) which had passed of old time into Christianity from the ancient world.
This position, we see, can be reached by various paths: the priest may become indispensable through the growth of ritual observances and precautions too complicated for a layman to master, or he may lay claim to special nearness to the gods on the ground, it may be, of his race, or, it may be, of habitual practices of purity and asceticism which cannot be combined with the duties of ordinary life, as, for example, celibacy was required of priestesses of Vesta at Rome.
The idea of priestly asceticism expressed in the celibacy of the clergy belongs also to certain types of heathen and especially Semitic priesthood, to those above all in which the priestly service is held to have a magical or theurgic quality.
Hence the strictest asceticism (abstinence from flesh, and wine, and sexual intercourse) is demanded, as well as the knowledge of God.
In ethical precepts, in directions for right living (that is, asceticism), the two systems approximate more and more closely.
And out of the combination of these two dualisms arose the teaching of Gnosticism, with its thoroughgoing pessimism and fundamental asceticism.
With the dualistic philosophy is further connected an attitude of absolute indifference towards this lower and material world, and the practice of asceticism.
An asceticism so strict and painful as that demanded by Manichaeism could only be practised by few; hence the religion must have abandoned all attempts at an extensive propaganda had it not conceded the principle of a twofold morality.
These "perfect ones," wasting away under their asceticism, were objects of admiration and of the most elaborate solicitude.'
This is also true of the ethics and the asceticism of the two systems. There is not a single point in Manichaeism which demands for its explanation an appeal to Buddhism.
whose romantic attachment to Crates is a fascinating sidelight on the almost truculent asceticism of the Cynics.
Though their prevailing tendency was practical, and the tenets of the society were kept a profound secret, it is perfectly clear from the concurrent testimony of Philo and Josephus that they cultivated a kind of speculation, which not only accounts for their spiritual asceticism, but indicates a great deviation from the normal development of Judaism, and a profound sympathy with Greek philosophy, and probably also with Oriental ideas.
In their speculative hints respecting the soul and a future state, we find another important deviation from Judaism, and the explanation of their asceticism.
In these cottages or cells a Carthusian monk passed his time in the strictest asceticism, only leaving his solitary dwelling to attend the services of the Church, except on certain days when the brotherhood assembled in the refectory.
But deliverance from this cycle of existences, which is conceived as misery, is promised by means of speculation and asceticism.
The assistance of a vicar enabled him to escape from the growing administrative cares and devote himself solely to asceticism, apparently the only field of human activity in which he excelled.
Here it will suffice to say that he followed the Pachomian rather than the Antonian model, setting himself definitely against the practice of the eremitical life and of excessive asceticism, and inculcating the necessity and superiority of labour.
The Vita Antonii was at an early date translated into Latin and propagated in the West, and the practice of monastic asceticism after the Egyptian model became common in Rome and throughout Italy, and before long spread to Gaul and to northern Africa.
St Benedict (c. 500) effected his purpose by a twofold break with the past: he eliminated from the idea of the monastic life the element of Oriental asceticism and extreme bodily austerity; and he put down the tendency, so marked in Egypt and the East, for the monks to vie with one another in ascetical practices, commanding all to live according to the rule.
,uovaa"Tucos, living alone, µovos), a system of living which owes its origin to those tendencies of the human soul which are summed up in the terms " asceticism " and " mysticism."
Mysticism may broadly be described as the effort to give effect to the craving for a union of the soul with the Deity already in this life; and asceticism as the effort to give effect to the hankering after an ever-progressive purification of the soul and an atoning for sin by renunciation and self-denial in things lawful.
- Greek asceticism and mysticism seem never to have produced a monastic system; but among the Jews, both in Judaea and in Alexandria, this development took place.
A general sketch of pre-Christian asceticism and monasticism, with indication of the chief authorities, is given in O.
- The practice of asceticism asserted itself at an early date in Christian life: men and women abstained from marriage, from flesh meat, from the use of intoxicating drink, and devoted themselves to prayer, religious exercises and works of charity (S.
Here it had a great vogue, and under the influence of the innate Asiatic love of asceticism it tended to assume ale form of strange austerities, of a kind not found in Egyptian monachism in its best period.
For years before his death we hear only of acts of charity and of, as it seems to modern ideas, extravagant asceticism.
In this system we distinguish not only the asceticism of Pythagoras and the later mysticism of Plato, but also the influence of the Orphic mysteries.
131), shortly afterwards, relying upon the feeling of the people in favour of asceticism, he brought forward four propositions for ascetic rules to be imposed on the order.
His parricidal rebellion lay heavy on his conscience; he practised asceticism at intervals, and dreamed of eastern pilgrimages.
to) The gist of it, omitting a few repetitions, is as follows: "There are two aims which he who has given up the world ought not to follow after - devotion, on the one hand, to those things whose attractions depend upon the passions, a low and pagan ideal, fit only for the worldly-minded, ignoble, unprofitable, and the practice on the other hand of asceticism, which is painful, ignoble, unprofitable.
But the Buddha, while rejecting the sacrifices and the ritualistic magic of the brahmin schools, the animistic superstitions of the people, the asceticism and soultheory of the Jains, and the pantheistic speculations of the poets of the pre-Buddhistic Upanishads, still retained the belief in transmigration.
It is almost impossible, without asceticism of a radically inartistic kind, to treat with the resources of instrumental music and free harmony such passages as that from the Crucifixus to the Resurrexit, without an emotional contrast which inevitably throws any natural treatment of the Sanctus into the background, and makes the A gnus Dei an inadequate conclusion to the musical scheme.
The last word of that Scotist theology which ruled at the close of the middle ages was that man must work out his own salvation, and Luther tried to do so in the most approved later medieval fashion by the strictest asceticism.
7), joviality and sensualism, all in striking contrast to the austerity of nomad asceticism.
Abdalaziz did his best to imitate his grandfather Omar in all things, and especially in maintaining the simple manner of life of the early Moslems. He was, however, born in the midst of wealth; thus frugality became asceticism, and in so far as he demanded the same rigour from his relatives, he grew unjust and caused uneasiness and discontent.
He led a life of the severest asceticism, and was credited with the power of working miracles; owing to his reputation the numbers of Rievaulx were greatly increased.
Though there is hardly a sect which has not contributed its share to the element of religious mendicancy and asceticism so prevalent in India, it is in connexion with the Siva-cult that these tendencies have been most extensively cultivated.
This is the highest order of asceticism, members of which are supposed to be solely engaged in meditating on the Brahma, and to be" equally indifferent to pleasure or pain, insensible of heat or cold, and incapable of satiety or want."Some of them go about naked, but the majority are clad like the Dandis.
We may therefore expect in primitive asceticism to find many abstentions and much self-torture apparently valueless for the training of character and discipline of the feelings, which are the essence of any healthy asceticism.
It is useful, therefore, in a summary sketch of asceticism, to begin with the facts as they can be observed among less advanced races, or as mere survivals among people who have reached the level of genuine moral reflection; and from this basis to proceed to a consideration of self-denial consciously pursued as a method of ethical perfection.
The latter is as a rule less cruel and rigorous than primitive forms of asceticism.
Fasting is used in primitive asceticism for a variety of reasons, among which the following deserve notice.
Asceticism then in its origin was usually not ascetic in a modern sense, that is, not ethical.
It is time to pass on to Buddhist asceticism, in its essence a more ethical and philosophical product than some of the forms so far considered.
The keynote of Buddhist asceticism is deliverance from life and its inevitable suffering.
In the Christian Church there was from the earliest age a leaning to excessive asceticism, and it needed a severe struggle on the part of Paul, and of the Catholic teachers who followed him, to secure for the baptized the right to be married, to own property, to engage in war and commerce, or to assume public office.
He is said to have gained the admiration of his fellows by the extreme rigour of his asceticism.
In the East, however, this and other forms of asceticism have always flourished more freely; and the Buddhist monastic system is not only far older than that of Christendom, but also proportionately more extensive.
Again not only was the church doctrine itself more or less consciously influenced by the Manichaean tenet of the diabolical origin of all matter, including the human body, but churchmen were also naturally tempted to compete in asceticism with the many heretics who held this tenet, and whose abstinence brought them so much popular consideration.
It need not, therefore, surprise us that the man who formulated the sum of virtue in justice and benevolence was unable to be just to his own kinsfolk and reserved his compassion largely for the brutes, and that the delineator of asceticism was more than moderately sensible of the comforts and enjoyments of life.
The Christian must shun everything sensual, and especially marriage, and free himself from the body by strict asceticism.
Rigorous asceticism, the rejection of the Old Testament, and the recognition of the " new God " remained common to all Marcionites, who, moreover, like the Catholics, lived together in close communities ruled by bishops and presbyters (although their constitution was originally very loose, and sought to avoid every appearance of " legality ").
Late in life he seems to have turned to asceticism and contemplation.
Ordained in July 1840 by the bishop of Winchester, he at once entered on ministerial work in that city, and during his ministry there and under the influence of the missionaries Henry Martyn and David Brainerd, whose lives he studied, he carried devotional asceticism to an injurious length.
In this case, benefit was repayed by benefit, for Athanasius during his episcopate had been a zealous promoter of asceticism and monachism.
Again, the whole tone of the Testamentum is one of highly strung asceticism, and the regulations are such as point by their severity to a small and strictly organized body.
Meanwhile the prophet's father, Suddhodana, who had anxiously watched his son's career, heard that he had given up his asceticism, and had appeared as a Wanderer, an itinerant preacher and teacher.
The older part may go back as early as the 3rd century B.C., and it sets out more especially the Jain doctrine of tapas or self-mortification, in contradistinction to the Buddhist view, which condemned asceticism.
On the other hand, the Jains are as determined in their views of asceticism (tapas) as they were compromising in their views of philosophy.
Jesus Himself did not inculcate asceticism in His teaching, and the absence of that distinctive element from His practice was sometimes a subject of hostile remark (Matt.
The theory of asceticism had also to be more fully worked out and better harmonized with Church authority.
That the ascetic life is intrinsically higher, that not every one is called to it, that the call is imperious when it comes, and that asceticism must be developed under Church control - all this may be common to East and West.
But however Oriental may have been the cast of mind that welcomed this theosophic asceticism, the forms of thought by which these views were philosophically reached are essentially Greek; and it is by a thoroughly intelligible process of natural development, in which the intensification of the moral consciousness represented by Stoicism plays an important part, that the Hellenic pursuit of knowledge culminates in a preparation for ecstasy, and the Hellenic idealization of man's natural life ends in a settled antipathy to the body and its works.
Thus, though incidentally there is much to be learned from Nietzsche, especially from his criticism of the ethics of pessimism, or from the strictures he passes upon the negative morality of extreme asceticism or quietism, his system inevitably provides its own refutation.
The honour was doubtless largely due to her asceticism and mystic visions.
and he argued that to make himself a fit habitation for the divine a man must, besides holding the Catholic faith and doing works of love, renounce marriage and earthly honour, and practise a hard asceticism.
Some gods, particularly Indra, are said to have won divine rank by " austere fervour " and asceticism, which is one of the processes that makes gods out of mortals even now in India. ?
It is said, but some historians doubt the story, that, instead of leading a life of asceticism, he spent his revenues in furthering his own luxury and enjoyment.
The initiated went through rites of purification, and practised a degree of asceticism; but for many the festival was believed to be an occasion for dark orgies.
Rabbu1a perhaps owed his elevation to the see of Edessa (411-435), in the year which produced the oldest dated Syriac MS., to his asceticism, and it was to his time that the sojourn there of the " Man of God " (Alexis) was assigned; but he won from the Nestorians the title of the Tyrant of Edessa.
The people were attached to the bons hommes, whose asceticism imposed upon the masses, and the anti-sacerdotal preaching of Peter of Bruys and Henry of Lausanne in Perigord, Languedoc and Provence, only facilitated the progress of Catharism in those regions.
It inculcated universal asceticism and social leveling in its crudest form.
Others regarded the whole of the material world as wicked and practiced a rigorous asceticism to punish the flesh.
The abbey he founded at Mynyw modeled a life of extreme asceticism modeled on that of the Egyptian monks.
The aim, however, is not to achieve a haughty puritanism or to become priggish; nor is a severe asceticism considered desirable.
rigid asceticism that paints all pleasure as somehow inherently wrong is another false distortion of biblical discipline.
This involved a regimen of strict asceticism and rejection of the things of the world.
Following this he spent 11 years studying martial arts and mountain asceticism with Japanese monks.
The Orthodox Church offers a characteristic mix of monkish asceticism, mystical exaltation, and a special cult of beauty.
monkish asceticism, a mystical love of ancient legend, & a mischievous sense of humor.
Koevos, common, and (Los, life), one who shares this life of withdrawal with others in a community (see Asceticism and Monasticism).
Silent contemplation and the total deadening of consciousness by perseverance for years in unnatural attitudes are among the commonest forms assumed by this mystical asceticism.
In Tannhauser and Lohengrin Wagner's intellectual power develops far more rapidly in the drama than in the music. The Sangerkrieg, with its disastrous conflict between the sincere but unnatural asceticism of the orthodox Minnesingers and the irrepressible human passion of Tannhauser, is a conception the vitality of which would reduce Tannhauser's repentance to the level of Robert le Diable, were it not that the music of the Sangerkrieg has no structural power, and little distinction beyond a certain poetic value in the tones of violas which had long ago been fully exploited by Mozart and Mehul, while the music of Tannhauser's pilgrimage ranks with the Vorspiel to Lohengrin as a wonderful foreshadowing of Wagner's mature style.
Thus the housing of the poor has been improved, though this difficult problem is yet far from solution; not the large towns only, but the larger villages also, are cleansed and drained; food has been submitted to inspection by skilled officers; water supplies have been undertaken on a vast scale; personal cleanliness has been encouraged, and with wonderful success efforts have been made to bring civilized Europe back from the effects of a long wave of Oriental asceticism, which in its neglect and contempt of the body led men to regard filth even as a virtue, to its pristine cleanliness under the Greeks and Romans.
He early began to manifest strict asceticism and great] devoutness.
In spite of the fact that in a few of its later representatives Gnosticism assumed a more refined and spiritual aspect, and even produced blossoms of a true and beautiful piety, it is fundamentally and essentially an unstable religious syncretism, a religion in which the determining forces were a fantastic oriental imagination and a sacramentalism which degenerated into the wildest superstitions, a weak dualism fluctuating unsteadily between asceticism and libertinism.
The earliest Christian monastic communities (see MoNASTtersM) with which we are acquainted consisted of groups of cells or huts collected about a common centre, which was usually the abode of some anchorite celebrated for superior holiness or singular asceticism, but without any attempt at orderly arrangement.
(See EBIoNITES.) The Essenes were an exclusive society, distinguished from the rest of the Jewish nation in Palestine by an organization peculiar to themselves, and by a theory of life in which a severe asceticism and a rare benevolence to one another and to mankind in general were the most striking characteristics.
But the Bogomils did not go as far as to recommend asceticism.
(See Asceticism and Mysticism.) Indeed the history of religion shows that they are among the most deep-rooted and widespread instincts of the human soul; and monasticism is the attempt to develop and regulate their exercise.
(Fn2) Here we have a doctrine of metempsychosis which seems of Indian origin (see Asceticism).
Mystical tendencies in Mahommedanism arose mainly on Persian soil (see SuFiism), and Von Kremer has shown that these Eastern tendencies fell in with a disposition to asceticism and flight from the world which had arisen among the Arabs before Islam under Christian influence.
ASCETICISM, the theory and practice of bodily abstinence and self-mortification, generally religious.
Not a few other technical terms of Greek philosophic asceticism, used in the first instance by Cynics and Neo-pythagoreans, and then continued among the Greek Jews and Christians, were metaphors taken from athletic contests - but only metaphors, for all asceticism, worthy of the name, has a moral purport, and is based on the eternal contrast of the proposition, "This is right," with the proposition, "That is pleasant."
The Greek Cynics (see Cynics) played a great part in the history of Asceticism, and they were so much the precursors of the Christian hermits that descriptions of them in profane literature have been mistaken for pictures of early monasticism.
A man in intellect and courage, yet without conceit or bravado; a woman in sensibility and tenderness, yet without shrinking or weakness; a saint in purity of life and devotion of heart, yet without asceticism or religiosity; a knight-errant in hatred of wrong and contempt of baseness, yet without self-righteousness or cynicism; a prince in dignity and courtesy, yet without formality or condescension; a poet in thought and feeling, yet without jealousy or affectation; a scholar in tastes and habits, yet without aloofness or bookishness; a dutiful son, a loving husband, a judicious father, a trusty friend, a useful citizen and an enthusiastic patriot, - he united in his strong, transparent humanity almost every virtue under heaven.
Ambrose's intense episcopal consciousness furthered the growing doctrine of the Church and its sacerdotal ministry, while the prevalent asceticism of the day, continuing the Stoic and Ciceronian training of his youth, enabled him to promulgate a lofty standard of Christian ethics.
The values behind a sacrificial asceticism or renunciation of the self can be found operating in diverse situations in Japan.
She renounced once for all the asceticism and isolation of the De imitatione for the more genial and sympathetic Christianity of Chateaubriand.
Jovinian thus indicates a natural and vigorous reaction against the exaggerated asceticism of the 4th century, a protest shared by Helvidius and Vigilantius.
23), the particular form of asceticism being less essential.
The asceticism of Paulinus and his liberality towards the poor soon brought him into great repute; and while he was spending Christmas at Barcelona the people insisted on his being forthwith ordained to the priesthood.
Their asceticism degenerated into legalism, their claim to a monopoly of pure Christianity made them arrogant.
Thus for example the scholia on Jarir furnished him with a remarkable notice of the prevalence of Buddhist doctrine and asceticism in `Irak under the Omayyads.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.