Monasticism August 27, 2012

In a 2002 article, Lester Little notes the biblical inspiration for Carolingian Benedictine monasticism: “In inspiration, thought patterns, and rhetoric, this liturgical monasticism shared in a culture that was deeply indebted to the Old Testament. Models for the duties and prerogatives of the religious were found in the instructions given the Levites in the Book of Numbers.”

This replicated the Old Testament grounding of Carolingian political order: “The very basis for political legitimacy devised for the Carolingian dynasty came from Old Testament models, namely the anointings of Sal and David by Samuel, as well as the image of the priest-king Melchizedek. In analogous fashion, the Carolingians and their successors found immediate stylistic models for the church buildings they sponsored in buildings at Ravenna and Rome, whereas they turned to the Old Testament for justification, which they found in the description of the building of the Temple of Solomon.”

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