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1. The call of the desert.2. The rule of St Benedict.3. Wandering saints and princely patrons.4. England and the continent.5. The emperor and the rule.6. The age of cluny.7. The cloister and the world.8. The quest for the primitive.9. The Cistercian model10. The new monasticism versus the old.11. A new kind of knighthood.12. Sister or handmaids.13. The Friars.14. Epilogue: The individual and the community.
C.H. Lawrence is Professor Emeritus of the University of London, UK. His previous publications include St Edmund of Abingdon (1960); Matthew Paris and St Edmund (1996); The Friars: The Impact of the Mendicant Orders on Medieval Society (2001) and The Letters of Adam March (ed. and translated 2006-10).
"The evolution of monasticism - which shaped piety, learning, processes of organisation as well as the medieval landscape - was one of the characteristic features of the middle ages. Drawing on a wealth of international scholarship, Professor Lawrence's informative and enjoyable book on this important subject is certainly the best introduction in the English language." Jens Roehrkasten, University of Birmingham, UK "C. H. Lawrence's classic study presents the evolution of monastic life and thought from primitive fourth-century eastern foundations to the variety of medieval orders. Enhancing our understanding of saints' lives, monastic rules, and pilgrimage narratives, it is a rich resource for students and scholars alike." Ruth Harwood Cline, Georgetown University, USA