Asceticism

asceticism (əsĕt´ĬsĬzəm), rejection of bodily pleasures through sustained self-denial and self-mortification, with the objective of strengthening spiritual life. Asceticism has been common in most major world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity: all of these have special ascetic cults or ascetic ideals. The most common ascetic practice is fasting, which is used for many purposes—to produce visions, as among the Crow; to mourn the dead, as among various African peoples; and to sharpen spiritual awareness, as among the early Christian saints. More extreme forms have been flagellation (see flagellants) and self-mutilation, usually intended to propitiate or reach accord with a god. Asceticism has been associated with taboo in many non-Western societies and in such well-developed religions as Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism. See Essenes; fakir; hermit; Rechabites.

See W. J. Sheils, ed., Monks, Hermits and the Ascetic Tradition (1985).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Asceticism: Selected full-text books and articles

Asceticism and the New Testament By Leif E. Vaage; Vincent L. Wimbush Routledge, 1999
Asceticism and the Hopeful Self: Subjectivity, Reductionism, and Modernity By Flood, Gavin Cross Currents, Vol. 57, No. 4, Winter 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Asceticism in Islam By Rauf, Imam Feisal Abdul Cross Currents, Vol. 57, No. 4, Winter 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Discourses By Symeon; Basile Krivocheine; C. J. Decatanzaro; George Maloney S. J Paulist Press, 1980
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
John Cassian: The Conferences By John Cassian; Boniface Ramsey Paulist Press, 1997
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Ascetical Works By Saint Gregory of Nyssa; Virginia Woods Callahan Catholic University of America Press, 1967
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Encyclopedia of Christianity By Erwin Fahlbusch; Jan Milič Lochman; John Mbiti; Jaroslav Pelikan; Lukas Vischer; Geoffrey W. Bromiley; David B. Barrett Wm. B. Eerdmans, vol.1, 1999
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