Manual Labor: The Twelfth-Century Cistercian Ideal

Dennis R. Overman, Western Michigan University


First paragraph:

Throughout the history of western monasticism three principal occupations were repeatedly emphasized for the monk prayer, lectio divina (spiritual reading/meditation), and manual labor. Periodically, cultural mindsets, social structure, or even geography have produced a variation in the practice of these occupations, resulting in the dominance of one or the other, or even the disappearance of one altogether.