The roots of monasticism may go back as far as 1700 BCE, to ascetic
practices in ancient India. Since that time, the monastic world has
naturally developed its own extensive and distinct vocabulary.
Countless volumes have been written on monasticism yet many do not
clearly define obscure or vernacular terms. Some terms may be found
in standard dictionaries but without in-depth explanations. This
first comprehensive dictionary--not a proselytizing work but a
reference with historical and biographical focus--fills the gap,
with a worldwide scope covering not only Christianity, but all
faiths that have monastic traditions, including but not limited to
Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
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