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The Rule of Benedict

Author(s)
Published
31/01/2008

Publisher writes

Founder of a monastery at Monte Cassino, between Rome and Naples, in the sixth century, St Benedict intended his "Rule" to be a practical guide to Christian monastic life. Based on the key precepts of humility, obedience and love, its aim is to create a harmonious and efficient religious community in which individuals can make progress in the Christian virtues and gain eternal life.

Here, Benedict sets out ideal monastery routines and regulations, from the qualities of a good abbot, the twelve steps to humility and the value of silence to such every day matters as kitchen duties, care of the sick and the suitable punishment for lateness at mealtimes. Benedict's legacy is still strong - his "Rule" remains a source of inspiration and a key work in the history of the Christian church.

Carolinne White's accessible translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing Benedict's teachings, what is known of his life, and the influence and spread of his "Rule".

Author Information

St.Benedict, (edited by Carolinne White)

Saint Benedict of Nursia (c. 480 AD - 543 AD) founded twelve monasteries, the best known of which was his first monastery at Monte Cassino in Italy. Benedict wrote a set of rules governing his monks, the Rule of Saint Benedict, one of the more influential documents in Western Civilization. Benedict was canonized a saint in 1220.

Judges' and contributors' comments

Cally Hammond: Loved more by others than by me; but I have read it and recognize its power and wisdom. The guidance for common living is truly precious.

Jenny Monds: The Rule of St Benedict has been so influential, and still provides a guide for living a Christian life. It is one of the bestselling books at Sarum College Bookshop.

Mark Oakley: Benedict’s invitation to a holy and humane balance in our Christian discipleship is equally as realistic about human beings as about God.

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