Enlightened Monks: The German Benedictines 1740-1803

Paperback | June 30, 2013

byUlrich L. Lehner

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Enlightened Monks investigates the social, cultural, philosophical, and theological challenges the German Benedictines faced between 1740 and 1803, and how the Enlightenment influenced the self-understanding and lifestyle of these religious communities. It had an impact on their forms ofcommunication, their transfer of knowledge, their relationships to worldly authorities and to the academic world, as well as on their theology and philosophy. The multifaceted achievements of enlightened monks, which included a strong belief in individual freedom, tolerance, human rights, and non-violence, show that monasticism was on the way to becoming fully integrated into the Enlightenment. Ulrich L. Lehner refutes the widespread assumption that monkswere reactionary enemies of Enlightenment ideas. On the contrary, he demonstrates that many Benedictines implemented the new ideas of the time into their own systems of thought. This revisionist account contributes to a better understanding not only of monastic culture in Central Europe, but also ofCatholic religious culture in general.

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Enlightened Monks investigates the social, cultural, philosophical, and theological challenges the German Benedictines faced between 1740 and 1803, and how the Enlightenment influenced the self-understanding and lifestyle of these religious communities. It had an impact on their forms ofcommunication, their transfer of knowledge, their...

Ulrich L. Lehner is author of Kant's Concept of Providence (2007), and editor/co-editor of ten books, including Brill's Companion to the Catholic Enlightenment in Europe (2010). He is a former member of the Princeton Institute of Advanced Study (2009), and a former Fellow of the Institute for Comparative History of Religious Orders at...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pagesPublished:June 30, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199682356

ISBN - 13:9780199682355

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Challenge of Historiography3. The Challenge of a New Life Style4. The Challenge of a New Liberty5. The Challenge of New Modes of Communication6. Monastery Prisons and the Enlightenment7. Runaway Monks8. The Challenge of New Theories of Law9. The Challenge of New Philosophies10. The Challenge of a New Theology11. ConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"This fascinating book...might stimulate monastic communities today to ask whether they too could learn from the Enlightened Monks." --James Leachmann, Benedictine Culture