Robert K. Atkin is a speculative fiction author. Passionate about theology, science fiction and fantasy, his stories will transport you to another time and place.
Monasticism in Western Europe reached its zenith during the High Middle Ages of the late eleventh century and early twelfth century. Coming out of the ascetic tradition of the Desert Fathers at the end of the third century, monasticism grew to become a highly influential movement with centres of worship and learning throughout medieval Europe. In this paper I will describe the development of medieval monasticism and consider the spiritual benefits that it offered to men and women both inside and outside monastic communities. I will not provide a comprehensive analysis of the benefits. Instead I will look at examples from the spiritual disciplines of prayer, study and manual work. I will conclude with a reflection on what spiritual benefit monasticism might offer the life of the church today.
The question of how to read the Bible today is one of how we view the authority of Scripture. Can the stories in the Bible be applied to our present situation, and if they can how should we interpret them today? N.T. Wright has suggested that the Bible is a drama in five acts – Creation, Fall, Israel, Jesus and the Church. The fifth act is unfinished and it is for the reader to enter into the drama and then to complete the story.
- ‘An anti-Enlightenment movement’. Do you agree with this assessment of eighteenth-century evangelicalism?
- Does the language of ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ imply that there is a hierarchy within the Trinity?
- Critically assess the implications of the claim that ‘The Word became flesh’ in the work of Athanasius.
- Imperial Context
- Worship & Holiness