An abbey is a complex of buildings, a type of monastery used by members of a religious order under the governance of an abbot or abbess. It provides a place for religious activities and housing of Christian monks and nuns; the concept of the abbey has developed over many centuries from the early monastic ways of religious men and women where they would live isolated from the lay community about them. Religious life in an abbey may be monastic. An abbey may be open to visitors; the layout of the church and associated buildings of an abbey follows a set plan determined by the founding religious order. Abbeys are self-sufficient while using any abundance of produce or skill to provide care to the poor and needy, refuge to the persecuted, or education to the young; some abbeys offer accommodation to people. There are many famous abbeys across Europe; the earliest known Christian monasteries were groups of huts built near the residence of a famous ascetic or other holy person. Disciples wished to be close to their holy man or woman in order to study their doctrine or imitate their way of life.

In the earliest times of Christian monasticism, ascetics would live in social isolation but near a village church. They would subsist whilst donating any excess produce to the poor. However, increasing religious fervor about the ascetic's ways and or persecution of them would drive them further away from their community and further into solitude. For instance, the cells and huts of anchorites have been found in the deserts of Egypt. In 312 AD, Anthony the Great retired to the Thebaid region of Egypt to escape the persecution of the Emperor Maximian. Anthony was the best known of the anchorites of his time due to his degree of austerity and his powers of exorcism; the deeper he withdrew into the wilderness, the more numerous his disciples became. They refused to be built their cells close to him; this became a first true monastic community. Anthony, according to Johann August Wilhelm Neander, inadvertently became the founder of a new mode of living in common, Coenobitism. At Tabennae on the Nile, in Upper Egypt, Saint Pachomius laid the foundations for the coenobitical life by arranging everything in an organized manner.

He built several monasteries, each with about 1,600 separate cells laid out in lines. These cells formed an encampment where the monks performed some of their manual tasks. There were nearby large halls such as the church, kitchen and guest house for the monk's common needs. An enclosure protecting all these buildings gave the settlement the appearance of a walled village; this layout, known as the laurae, became popular throughout Israel. As well as the "laurae", communities known as "caenobia" developed; these were monasteries. The monks were not permitted to retire to the cells of a laurae before they had undergone a lengthy period of training. In time, this form of common life superseded that of the older laurae. In the late 300s AD, Palladius visited the Egyptian monasteries, he described three hundred members of the coenobium of Panopolis. There were seven smiths, four carpenters, twelve camel-drivers and fifteen tanners; these people were divided into subgroups, each with its own "oeconomus".

A chief steward was at the head of the monastery. The produce of the monastery was brought to Alexandria for sale; the moneys were given away as charity. Twice in the year, the superiors of several coenobia met at the chief monastery, under the presidency of an "archimandrite" in order to make their reports. Chrysostom recorded the workings of a coenobia in the vicinity of Antioch; the monks lived in separate huts. They were subject to an abbot, observed a common rule; the layout of the monastic coenobium was influenced by a number of factors. These included a need for defence, economy of space, convenience of access; the layout of buildings became orderly. Larger buildings were erected and defence was provided by strong outside walls. Within the walls, the buildings were arranged around one or more open courts surrounded by cloisters; the usual arrangement for monasteries of the Eastern world is exemplified in the plan of the convent of the Great Lavra at Mount Athos. With reference to the diagram, the convent of the Great Lavra is enclosed within a strong and lofty blank stone wall.

The area within the wall is between four acres. The longer side is about 500 feet in length. There is only one entrance, located on the north side, defended by three iron doors. Near the entrance is a large tower, a constant feature in the monasteries of the Levant. There is a small postern gate at L; the enceinte comprises two large open courts, surrounded with buildings connected with cloister galleries of wood or stone. The outer court, the larger by far, contains the granaries and storehouses, the kitchen and other offices connected with the refectory. Adjacent to the gateway is a two-storied guest-house, entered from a cloister; the inner court is surrounded by a cloister. In the centre of this court stands the katholikon or conventual church, a square building with an apse of the cruciform domical Byzantine type, approached by a domed narthex. In front of the church stands a marble fountain, covered by a dome supported on columns. Opening from the western side of the cloist

David Jung-Kuang Chiu

David Jung-Kuang Chiu was a Chinese-born American educator, serving as both Professor and Dean at Hofstra University from 1970 to 2001 when he retired. David J. Chiu was born on July 11, 1936, in Gulangyu, a westernized Island-city in southern China to Minxian and Juyin Chiu. At the time, Gulangyu was the location of the consulate offices of the Western countries in China. Soon after Chiu's birth, the family moved to Qinhuangdao in northern China, the starting point of the Great Wall of China. In 1947 at the age of eleven, Chiu's family moved to Taiwan, because Chiu's father, Mingxian, a commissioner of the Chinese Marine Customs, was sent to recover the Taizhong Marine Customs office from Japanese occupation. Chiu went on to earn his B. A. and M. A. in the island of beauty. Professor Chiu was valedictorian of his graduating class at National Chengchi University an honor which led to a research-assistantship at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. At the university, Chiu completed work towards a Ph.

D. In 1970 he started teaching at Hofstra University, located on Long Island, New York. During his tenure at Hofstra University Chiu held the positions of Professor of Comparative Literature and Languages, Dean of University Advisement, Director of Asian Studies. By knocking at China's door in the summer of 1980 Professor Chiu led the first group of U. S. university students to visit modern China. These American youth were the first foreigners in modern China to study the Chinese language and culture at East China University in Shanghai. In his efforts at promoting cross-cultural ties, Professor Chiu was active in arranging exchanges of Sino-American professors and students, a major accomplishment of his education programs during the 1980s and 1990s. Chiu was a key contributor in arranging the first business contracts signed between the U. S. and Chinese organizations, the Hofstra Corporation and the China Association of Science and Technology in 1985, a time when China had just begun to welcome in the Western world.

While in New York, Professor Chiu taught for over 10 years at New York University and at the Chinese Center on Long Island. He retired from Hofstra University in the summer of 2001 after thirty-one years of contribution to the university and the Long Island community. Professor Chiu received a citation and the University Distinguished Service Medal in May 2001 from Hofstra University. Here is a quotation from his citation: "With deep appreciation for more than a quarter of a century of inspirational service to Hofstra University. Your devotion to the progress of Hofstra contributed to its development from a small liberal arts college to a major regional and national institution of higher learning." David J. Chiu, 69, died March 26, 2006, at his home in San Jose, CA from complications due to colorectal cancer. Memorial Site for David J. Chiu Current Hofstra in China Program developed by Professor Chiu

Simon James Stevens

Simon Stevens is an award-winning English activist, Huffington Post blogger and disability issues consultant known for his high-profile work around disability issues in the UK. Stevens was awarded a "Enterprising Young Brits" award in 2004 as a "truly inspirational entrepreneur" for setting up Enable Enterprises in 1998. In 2008, Stevens was presented with the Revolutionary Award, a category of the UK Catalyst Awards presented "For something that makes people in power more aware of the need for change." The award was presented to Stevens by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his founding of Wheelies, a disability-themed nightclub in the online virtual world Second Life. Stevens featured in the disability-themed 2012 Channel 4 hidden camera prank show I'm Spazticus. In April 2016, Stevens was rated as one of "the ten most influential in the West Midlands from the world of social media" by Birmingham Mail. In addition, in April 2013, he was rated 60th on the Disability News Service influence list, which according to the DNS website "highlight some of the many disabled people who make a difference in modern Britain.".

Updated in 2016, Stevens was rated as one of "the ten people listed as the most influential in the West Midlands from the world of social media"However, within the disability community itself, Stevens is something of an outsider whose views do not reflect those of the majority. Indeed, to many he is nothing but a troublesome irrelevance. Furthermore, in Twitter debates, Simon adopts an argumentative style where he pretends he is drunk and fires illogical misspelled red-herrings at his opponents. Stevens is affected by Cerebral Palsy, according to Stevens' site "affects my speech, hand control and continence to a significant degree and provided me with a good sense of humour." Additionally, Stevens has been diagnosed as having mild bipolar and in 2009, Stevens had a nerve virus which resulted in long term Acute Neuropathy. In 2006, Stevens became the first user of Second Life to use a wheelchair as part of his avatar character, he founded the virtual club Wheelies the world's first disability-themed virtual nightclub in Second Life, "a friendly and inclusive place for disabled and non-disabled people from around the world to meet."

Stevens claims to have worked with 149 companies. Stevens has written extensively about efforts in UK schools to integrate persons with disabilities into the mainstream educational system; this work around "integration" and his own integration experiences have been used to illustrate improvements in the UK's integration systems since the 1970s. Stevens has been a national figure in "Go on Gold", a nationwide disability services campaign in the UK. Go ON Gold "aims to enable disabled users to use the internet and digital TV to improve their day-to-day lives, access services and jobs and interact with a world which may have been out of reach." Stevens has been a frequent guest blogger for the BBC website's disability blog "Ouch!" He has written for Service User Voice. From January 2011 to April 2013, Stevens was a board member for Skills for Care as a service user. Simon Stevens Homepage