→Originile monahismului creștin
[[Image:Panteleimon_Monastery.jpg|right|thumb|350px|Mănăstirea Sfântul Patelimon, [[Muntele Athos]]]]
==Originile monahismului creștin==
The institution of Christian monasticism began in the deserts in 4th century Egypt as a kind of living [[martyr]]dom. Some scholars attribute the rise of monasticism at this time to the changes in Roman society that had been brought about subsequent to the Emperor St. [[Constantine the Great|Constantine]]'s [[conversion]] and the legal tolerance of Christianity in the Roman Empire. This ended the position of Christians as a small, persecuted group, leading to the rise of nominal Christianity within the Church. In response, many who wished to maintain the intensity of the earliest years of Christian life fled to the desert to [[fasting|fast]] and pray, free from the fragmenting influence of the world. The end of persecution also meant that [[martyr]]dom was no longer as common, and so [[asceticism]] as a form of living martyrdom came to be pursued.