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47 votes

Could someone who had joined a monastery decide to leave?

In principle, they were not supposed to leave their order because they took a vow for life. In practice, some did leave, and some were subsequently readmitted. However, the time period covered here is ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Did monasteries hold land and collect rent in medieval Europe?

Yes, monasteries in the medieval period were in fact powerful lords of feudal estates. Most bishops and monasteries had large landholdings, which had been granted to them over the years by kings, or ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.3k
15 votes

Could someone who had joined a monastery decide to leave?

"Decide to leave" was always an option to consider. And one could do that, of course. Just do that. But it seems the question is more about the obstacles and costs that may be associated ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
13 votes

How often would monks leave their monasteries in the Middle Ages?

Typically, a significant minority of the monks were priests. But each order would have its own rules about the movement of its members. The more strict orders would not accept that one of his ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,438
9 votes

Who were the social elites of the European middle ages?

If I'm going to address this in context, the general point is that all we have to go by is written records, and in eras of low literacy, that means all we get is the perspective of the few literate ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
7 votes
Accepted

Why were monasteries built in obscure places around Ireland?

Quite simply, because monks wanted to live a quiet life in spiritual reflection, and get on with their work. They felt this was best done in isolation. YourIrishCulture Many monasteries had been ...
John Strachan's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What percentage of the population was in the clergy (chastity vows) in Europe *at its peak* between 500-1500)?

A Yale history lecture has some figures which, though focused on England, might be applicable. The video of lecture 7, Late Medieval Religion and Its Critics discusses the number of clergy in ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.1k
6 votes

Who were the social elites of the European middle ages?

An excellent example is Lollardy in England. Today many people read the Lollards through a lens of modern left wing movements. Ironically this is a useful reading: the Lollards were educated ...
Samuel Russell's user avatar
5 votes

Who were the social elites of the European middle ages?

You won't get a clear definition, as this changes from century to century, from area to area, and also in the eye of the beholder. Village priests were often poor, illiterate or barely literate, and ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17k
5 votes

Why did Western Christian monasticism really take off in Ireland?

Paraphrasing liberally from the wiki article on Celtic Christianity, at least the following three factors played a role: Because Ireland had not been part of the Roman Empire, the network of abbeys ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
4 votes

How accurate is Belloc's version of European economic history in The Servile State, with regards to the seizing of the monastic lands?

The main question I see which can be addressed here is did the monasteries control a third of the land within England at the time of Henry VIII? The problem is that the answer to this is not directly ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.1k
3 votes

Where can I find historical statistics about Catholic monasticism?

For recent history, the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiæ (an annual almanac) contains information about numbers of priests and religious.
Geremia's user avatar
  • 2,289
3 votes

How often would monks leave their monasteries in the Middle Ages?

[This is in support of Luiz's answer, per comment, asking for sources] On the Trappists: They are a spin-off of the Cistercian order. It is not surpising that Trappists do visitations (to other ...
J Asia's user avatar
  • 6,323
3 votes

Were monasteries a refuge for mentally handicapped adults?

Yes, one of the functions of monasteries (and convents) were as places to care for sick and disabled people, as part of their religious mission. This function helped set the precedent for today's ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
1 vote

Could someone who had joined a monastery decide to leave?

This depends on the reason why the person was living in a monastery. Often monasteries were used as prisons explicitly. Some people were simply forbidden leaving, this often happened with people who ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 32.8k
1 vote

Were monasteries a refuge for mentally handicapped adults?

All ordained priests until recently have been required to be able to read, write, and speak Latin, and to be able to study and to pass examinations in Philosophy, Theology, and Liturgy conducted in ...
1600's user avatar
  • 11

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