The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
Monk Seraphim is a defrocked hierarch for the Orthodox Church in America. During 1990-2010 he served as head of the Archdiocese of Canada with the title Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada Kenneth William Storheim was born in Edmonton, Canada of Norwegian and Scottish ancestry, was raised as a Lutheran. Receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta, Storheim studied at the Vancouver School of Theology in Vancouver, British Columbia and was ordained as an Anglican priest, he converted to Eastern Orthodoxy in 1978. He attended St. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York, where he was ordained in 1981. Storheim lived at New Valamo Monastery in Finland and spent several years serving as an OCA parish priest throughout Canada and the United States, he was consecrated as auxiliary bishop of Edmonton in 1987, became Bishop of the Diocese in 1990. He was elevated to the rank of archbishop at the 2007 meeting of the Holy Synod; as secretary of the Holy Synod of the OCA, Storheim served in a number of administrative capacities for the Holy Synod, traveled extensively in Russia, the Middle East, Europe.
On September 4, 2008, the Holy Synod of the OCA named Storheim the administrator of the Metropolitan's See to assist Metropolitan bishop Dmitri, appointed locum tenens. On 5 October 2010, Seraphim Storheim stepped down for three months pending an investigation by Winnipeg police; the New York headquarters of the church issued a press release in October 2010 saying that Storheim was being investigated after a complaint of "misconduct" from about 25 years before was registered with the Manitoba police. It is reported that Storheim had sent a letter of apology to the boys' mother asking her what he might have done wrong, she had refused to take the several calls he made to her after she had claimed he'd talked about'dirty stuff' with her boys. The trial evidence showed conclusively that Storheim had talked about puberty with one of her boys and a visiting teen from North Carolina, studying under his guidance. During a special meeting called by Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen on November 30, 2010, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America decided to suspend Archbishop Seraphim.
This decision was reached after careful deliberations and in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Orthodox Church in America mandated in cases of allegations of sexual misconduct. A preliminary hearing was held on 17 November 2011 to determine whether there was sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial. A court-ordered ban prevented specific details from being published. On 24 January 2014, Storheim was convicted of molesting only one of the boys. In July 2014, he was sentenced to eight months imprisonment. In passing sentence, Judge Christopher Mainella said, "The conduct of the accused was a deplorable and gross breach of trust; the sexual assault has caused permanent emotional trauma to the child, now 40-years-old, who lives with the effect of the accused behaviour to this day and will live with that emotional trauma well after the expiry of the court's sentence." Just over a week Storheim's lawyer filed an appeal to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. Storheim was freed on bail.
The appeal was rejected on 5 February 2015, whereupon he began serving his prison sentence. Following his release from prison. Members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on October 19–23, 2015 canonically deposed the retired Archbishop Seraphim from the status and all sacred functions of the episcopacy, removed him from the ranks of the clergy, returned him to the status of a lay monk; the Holy Synod made this decision with much sorrow, but with the conviction that it was a necessary action both for the salvation of the now Monk Seraphim and for the preservation of the good order and stability of the flock of Christ. At the same time, we offer our prayers for the victims, their families and all those who have been affected by the events surrounding this case. Seraphim of Ottawa at OrthodoxWiki. Our Love and support to Archbishop Seraphim - supporters' web site. Conscientious Economics: The Economics of'We' and'I", a blog by Larry Motuz; as of this edit, this article uses content from "Seraphim of Ottawa", licensed in a way that permits reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, but not under the GFDL.
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Hesychasm is a mystical tradition of contemplative prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Based on Jesus's injunction in the Gospel of Matthew that "when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, when thou hast shut thy door, pray", hesychasm in tradition has been the process of retiring inward by ceasing to register the senses, in order to achieve an experiential knowledge of God. Hesychasm, Greek: ἡσυχασμός, contemporary Byzantine Greek pronunciation:, derives from the Greek Hesychia, "stillness, quiet, silence" and ἡσυχάζω Greek pronunciation:: "to keep stillness." Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, a scholar of Eastern Orthodox theology, distinguishes five distinct usages of the term "hesychasm": "solitary life", a sense, equivalent to "eremitical life", in which the term is used since the 4th century. The origin of the term hesychasmos, of the related terms hesychastes and hesychazo, is not certain. According to the entries in Lampe's A Patristic Greek Lexicon, the basic terms hesychia and hesychazo appear as early as the 4th century in such fathers as St John Chrysostom and the Cappadocians.
The terms appear in the same period in Evagrius Pontikos, who although he is writing in Egypt is out of the circle of the Cappadocians, in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. The term hesychast is used sparingly in Christian ascetical writings emanating from Egypt from the 4th century on, although the writings of Evagrius and the Sayings of the Desert Fathers do attest to it. In Egypt, the terms more used are anchoretism, anchorite; the term hesychast was used in the 6th century in Palestine in the Lives of Cyril of Scythopolis, many of which lives treat of hesychasts who were contemporaries of Cyril. Here, it should be noted that several of the saints about whom Cyril was writing Euthymios and Savas, were in fact from Cappadocia; the laws of the emperor Justinian I treat hesychast and anchorite as synonyms, making them interchangeable terms. The terms hesychia and hesychast are used quite systematically in the Ladder of Divine Ascent of St John of Sinai and in Pros Theodoulon by St Hesychios, ordinarily considered to be of the School of Sinai.
It is not known where either St John of Sinai or St Hesychios were born, nor where they received their monastic formation. It appears that the particularity of the term hesychast has to do with the integration of the continual repetition of the Jesus Prayer into the practices of mental ascesis that were used by hermits in Egypt. Hesychasm itself is not recorded in Lampe's Lexicon, which indicates that it is a usage, the term Jesus Prayer is not found in any of the fathers of the church. Saint John Cassian presents as the formula used in Egypt for repetitive prayer, not the Jesus Prayer, but "O God, make speed to save me: O Lord, make haste to help me."By the 14th century, however, on Mount Athos the terms hesychasm and hesychast refer to the practice and to the practitioner of a method of mental ascesis that involves the use of the Jesus Prayer assisted by certain psychophysical techniques. Most the rise of the term hesychasm reflects the coming to the fore of this practice as something concrete and specific that can be discussed.
Books used by the hesychast include the Philokalia, a collection of texts on prayer and solitary mental ascesis written from the 4th to the 15th centuries, which exists in a number of independent redactions. Hesychastic practice involves blocking of the physical senses. In this, hesychasm shows its roots in Evagrius Ponticus and in the Greek tradition of asceticism going back to Plato. According to some of the adepts of the Jewish Merkabah mystical tradition, if one wished to "descend to the Merkabah" one had to adopt the prayer posture taken by the prophet Elijah in I Kings 18:42, namely to pray with one's head between one's knees; this is the same prayer posture used by the Christian hesychasts and is the reason that they were mocked by their opponents as "navel gazers". This bodily position and the practice of rhythmically breathing while invoking a divine name seems to be common to both Jewish Merkabah mysticism and Christian hesychasm, thus the practice may have origins in the ascetical practices of the biblical prophets.
Alan Segal in his book Paul the Convert suggests that the Apostle Paul may have been an early adept of Merkabah mysticism in which case what was novel to Paul's experience of divine light on the road to Damascus was not the experience of divine light itself, but that the source of this divine light identified himself as the Jesus whose followers Paul was persecuting. Daniel Boyarin notes that Paul's own account of this experience would therefore be the earliest first person accoun
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
A Skete is a monastic community in Eastern Christianity that allows relative isolation for monks, but allows for communal services and the safety of shared resources and protection. It is one of four types of early monastic orders, along with the eremitic and coenobitic, that became popular during the early formation of the Christian Church. Skete communities consist of a number of small cells or caves that act as the living quarters with a centralized church or chapel; these communities are thought of as a bridge between strict eremitic lifestyle and communal lifestyles since it was a blend of the two. These communities were a direct response to the ascetic lifestyle that early Christians aspired to live. Skete communities were a bridge to a stricter form of hermitage or to martyrdom; the term Skete is most a reference to the Scetis valley region of Egypt where Skete communities first appear, but a few scholars have argued that it instead is a stylized spelling of the word ascetic. It is impossible to talk about the earliest Skete communities without touching on the early days of monasticism itself.
The earliest monks were men who fled civilization to lead an ascetic lifestyle alone in the desert. Early desert ascetics have been chronicled as far back as the writings of Eusebius In his book Church history or Ecclesiastical History, he writes of early desert fathers who left civilization behind to wander the desert drawing a following and settling down into monastic communities; the problem with these earliest writings is that no distinction is made between those who fled civilization for ascetic reasons, those who fled to avoid persecution. Another problem is that early accounts of monastic life are exaggerated leading some scholars to calculate that if these reports were taken at face value the monasteries were larger than the entire populations of the countries where they were founded; the only thing, certain from these early writings is that some early religious figures did flee to the seclusion of the desert while others had a legitimate calling. Whether fleeing persecution or fleeing civilization, the monks who retreated to the Scetis valley in Egypt began to draw followers.
The inherent problem with attracting followers is that it defeated the original goal of seeking solitude. Early communities began forming, with the monks building small one- or two-room cells or occupying caves; these small communities would draw more people, leading to the need for simple communal infrastructure. The monks would work together to build a church retreat to the solitude of their cells or caves to embrace the hermetic and ascetic lifestyle. After building a communal church they could gather for Eucharist; the Scetis Valley in Egypt, now known as the Wadi al-Natrun, is 22 miles long and lies west of the Nile River in the Libyan Desert. The name Scetis comes from the Coptic word Shi-het, meaning “to weigh the heart”; the valley lies below sea level and is dotted with oases and marshes. Despite the low elevation and water resources, the Scetis Valley was a dangerous place; the monasteries of the Scetis Valley were not like the large centralized communities that would come to define monasteries in the Middle Ages.
Instead, the Scetis monasteries were a collection of hermits who for the most part lived separately, each in his own cell, but who would come together for weekly prayers and holy days. These small cells could be close together or scattered, making their exact locations hard to find; when major buildings were erected, the cells associated with them were easy to find, but the locations of the earliest cells became harder to know with certainty. Modern scholars now estimate the most famous of these monasteries, the Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great, to be 92 kilometres northwest of Cairo. Saint Macarius was born into a middle-class family in Upper Egypt around the year 300; as a boy, he accompanied his father, a camel driver and merchant, on desert excursions and came to know the Scetis Valley. When his parents arranged a marriage for him, he feigned an illness and retreated to the desert to decide what to do; when he returned, he found. Following the death of his parents soon after that, he gave all his money to the poor.
When the bishop of Ashmoun became aware of Macarius' piety, he ordained him a priest. Macarius was accused by a village woman of impregnating her, he did not defend himself, but the woman had a difficult labor and did not deliver until she confessed that Macarius was not the father. Following this incident, he fled to the Scetis Valley to live as a desert hermit. Soon, he began to attract followers, he sought the advice of Saint Anthony, who inspired him to become a teacher and to found a monastic community. That monastic community reflected Macarius's own thoughts on the need for solitude and contemplation and allowed monks to live for the most part separated from one another, coming together when needed for mass on the weekends and in times of trouble, he was exiled by Emperor Valens to an island in the River Nile along with Saint Macarius of Alexandria over a dispute about the Nicene Creed. The exile was short-lived, he returned to his monastery where he lived until the time of his death in 391.
After his death his body was stolen and brought to his home village of Shabsheer, but his remains were taken back to the Monastery of Saint Macarius in the Scetis Valley where they remain to this day. The Skete monastery system is thought of as a middle path of monastic life because it is a middle g
Metohija or Dukagjini ) is a large basin and the name of the region covering the southwestern part of Kosovo. The region covers 35% of Kosovo's total area. According to the 2011 census, the population of the region is 700,577, it encompasses three of the seven districts of Kosovo: The name Metohija derives from the Greek word μετόχια, meaning "monastic estates" – a reference to the large number of villages and estates in the region that were owned by the Serbian Orthodox monasteries and Mount Athos during the Middle Ages. In Albanian the area is called Rrafshi i Dukagjinit and means "the plateau of Dukagjin", as the toponym took the name of the Dukagjini family; the term "Kosovo and Metohija" was in official use for the Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija, for the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Term "Metohija" was dropped from the official name of the province in 1968, thus the term "Kosovo" became the official name of the province as a whole; the change was not welcomed by Serbs.
In 1990, new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia was adopted, changing the official name of the province back to Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. This time, change was not welcomed by ethnic Albanians, who protested against the official use of the term "Metohija". In 2008, after the Kosovo declaration of independence, Serbia included the term "Metohija" into official name of the newly formed Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija, transformed in 2012 into the Office for Kosovo and Metohija. Metohija is 23 km wide at its broadest point and about 60 km long, at an average altitude of 450 m above sea level, its principal river is the White Drin. It is bordered by the mountain ranges Mokra Gora in the north and northwest, the Prokletije in the west, Paštrik in the southwest, the Šar Mountains in the south and southeast, Drenica, which distinguishes it from the rest of Kosovo in the east and northeast; the geographic division between Metohija and rest of Kosovo causes differences between the two areas' flora and fauna.
Metohija has the characteristic influences of the Mediterranean, while rest of Kosovo's ecology does not differ from Central Serbia's. Metohija consists of fertile arable land with many small rivers which provide water for irrigation and, in combination with the Mediterranean climate, give excellent fields except for cereals; this area is well known for its high-quality vineyards, fruit orchards, for the growing of chestnut and almond trees. The geographical region of Metohija is further divided into four parts: Podgor, Prekoruplje and Rugovo. Based on archaeology, the region of Kosovo and Metohija and the Morava Valley were interconnected in the Neolithic and Eneolithic; the Triballi of Morava entered Kosovo in two waves in the 8th and 7th centuries BC took part in the genesis of the Dardani. Necropolises near Zhur suggest that the southwesternmost part of Metohija at the end of 6th century BC was subject to Illyrian influx. After the Roman conquests, the Metohija region was divided into Praevalitana.
Coinciding with the decline of the Roman Empire, many "barbarian" tribes passed through the Balkans, most of whom did not leave any lasting state. The Slavs, overwhelmed the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries; the Principality of Serbia included the city of Destinikon, believed to have been in Metohija. The region was conquered by Bulgaria in the early 10th century, after which Byzantine rule was restored ca. 970-975, again after 1018. In terms of ecclesiastical administration, the region of Metohija belonged to the Eparchy of Prizren, created in 1019. During the 11th and the 12th century, the region was contested between Grand Principality of Serbia and the Byzantine Empire. Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja was recognized as independent in 1190, keeping northern parts of the Metohija, while southern parts were incorporated into Kingdom of Serbia by the beginning of the 13th century. After the Fall of the Serbian Empire in 1371, the region of Metohija was controlled by the Balšić family of Zeta, since 1378 by the Branković family.
It was part of the Serbian Despotate until 1455. Metohija was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1455 and incorporated into the Sanjak of Prizren and Sanjak of Peć. In 1878, after several administrative reforms, the region was included into Ottoman Vilayet of Kosovo; the area was taken by the Kingdom of Montenegro in the 1912 First Balkan War except Prizren area, conquered by Kingdom of Serbia. During the First World War, Montenegro was conquered by the Austro-Hungarian forces in 1915; the Central Powers were pushed out of Metohija by the Serbian Army in 1918. Montenegro subsequently joined the Kingdom of Serbia, followed by the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes; the Kingdom was reformed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. The Kingdom suffered an Axis invasion during World War II in 1941, the region of Metohija was incorporated into Italian-controlled Albania, with the Italians employing the "Vulnetari", an Albanian volunteer militia, to control the villages. After Italy's treaty with the Allies in 1943, the Germans took direct control over the region, supported by the local Albanian collaborationists.
After numerous rebellions of S
Monasticism or monkhood is a religious way of life in which one renounces worldly pursuits to devote oneself to spiritual work. Monastic life plays an important role in many Christian churches in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Similar forms of religious life exist in other faiths, most notably in Buddhism, but in Hinduism and Jainism, although the expressions differ considerably. By contrast, in other religions monasticism is criticized and not practiced, as in Islam and Zoroastrianism, or plays a marginal role, as in Judaism. Women pursuing a monastic life are called nuns, while monastic men are called monks. More both have described themselves as “monastics.” Many monastics live in monasteries to stay away from the secular world. The way of addressing monastics differs between the Christian traditions; as a general rule, in Roman Catholicism and nuns are called brother or sister, while in Eastern Orthodoxy, they are called father or mother. The Sangha or community of ordained Buddhist bhikkhus and original bhikkhunis was founded by Gautama Buddha during his lifetime over 2500 years ago.
This communal monastic lifestyle grew out of the lifestyle of earlier sects of wandering ascetics, some of whom the Buddha had studied under. It was fairly eremitic or reclusive in nature. Bhikkhus and bhikkunis were expected to live with a minimum of possessions, which were to be voluntarily provided by the lay community. Lay followers provided the daily food that bhikkhus required, provided shelter for bhikkhus when they needed it. After the Parinibbana of the Buddha, the Buddhist monastic order developed into a cenobitic or communal movement; the practice of living communally during the rainy vassa season, prescribed by the Buddha grew to encompass a settled monastic life centered on life in a community of practitioners. Most of the modern disciplinary rules followed by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis — as encoded in the Patimokkha — relate to such an existence, prescribing in great detail proper methods for living and relating in a community of bhikkhus or bhikkhunis; the number of rules observed.
There are a larger number of rules specified for bhikkhunis. The Buddhist monastic order consists of the female bhikkhuni assembly. Consisting only of males, it grew to include females after the Buddha's stepmother, asked for and received permission to live as an ordained practitioner. Bhikkhus and bhikkhunis are expected to fulfill a variety of roles in the Buddhist community. First and foremost, they are expected to preserve the discipline now known as Buddhism, they are expected to provide a living example for the laity, to serve as a "field of merit" for lay followers—providing laymen and women with the opportunity to earn merit by giving gifts and support to the bhikkhus. In return for the support of the laity and bhikkhunis are expected to live an austere life focused on the study of Buddhist doctrine, the practice of meditation, the observance of good moral character. A bhikkhu or bhikshu, first ordains as a Samanera. Novices ordain at a young age, but no younger than eight. Samaneras live according to the Ten Precepts, but are not responsible for living by the full set of monastic rules.
Higher ordination, conferring the status of a full Bhikkhu, is given only to men who are aged 20 or older. Bhikkhunis follow a similar progression, but are required to live as Samaneras for longer periods of time- five years; the disciplinary regulations for bhikkhus and bhikkhunis are intended to create a life, simple and focused, rather than one of deprivation or severe asceticism. However, celibacy is a fundamental part of this form of monastic discipline. Monasticism in Christianity, which provides the origins of the words "monk" and "monastery", comprises several diverse forms of religious living, it is not mentioned in the scriptures. It has come to be regulated by religious rules and, in modern times, the Church law of the respective apostolic Christian churches that have forms of monastic living; the Christian monk embraces the monastic life as a vocation for God. His goal is to attain eternal life in his presence; the rules of monastic life are codified in the "counsels of perfection".
In the beginning, in Egypt, Christians felt called to a more reclusive or eremitic form of monastic living. Saint Anthony the Great is cited by Athanasius as one of these early "Hermit monks". In the Middle East, eremitic monasticism continued to be common until the decline of Syriac Christianity in the late Middle Ages; the need for some form of organized spiritual guidance was obvious. Soon, similar institutions were established throughout the Egyptian desert as well as the rest of the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Notable monasteries of the East include: Monastery of Saint Anthony, one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world. Mar Awgin founded a monastery on Mt. Izla above Nisibis in Mesopotamia, from this monastery the cenobitic tradition spread in Mesopotamia, Armenia and India and China. St. Sabbas the Sanctified organized the monks