Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of individuals who live ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the
Monks did not live in monasteries at first, rather, they began by living alone, as the word monos might suggest. As more people took on the lives of monks, living alone in the wilderness, they started to come together and model themselves after the original monks nearby. Quickly, the monks formed communities to further their ability to observe an
The basic idea of monasticism in all its varieties is seclusion or withdrawal from the world or society. The object of this is to achieve a life whose ideal is different from and largely at variance with that pursued by the majority of humanity, and the method adopted, no matter what its precise details may be, is always self-abnegation or organized asceticism. Monastic life is distinct from the "religious orders" such as the
Both ways of living out the Christian life are regulated by the respective church law of those Christian denominations that recognize it (e.g., the
Monks and friars are two distinct roles. In the thirteenth century "… new orders of friars were founded to teach the Christian faith," because monasteries had declined.