[[Image:Panteleimon_Monastery.jpg|right|thumb|350px|Mănăstirea Sfântul Patelimon, [[Muntele Athos]]]]
'''Monahismul''' (din termenul grec: ''μοναχος''— care înseamnă persoană singură/însingurată) este vechea practică a creștinilor de a părăsi lumea pentru a se închina trup și suflet unei vieți conforme cu [[Evanghelia]], urmărind unirea cu [[Iisus Hristos]].
Scopul monahismului este [[îndumnezeirea]] omului (în greacă, theosis), lucrare la care sunt chemați toți creștinii.
This ideal is expressed everywhere that the things of God are sought above all other things, as seen for example in the ''[[ Philokalia]]'', a book of monastic writings. In other words, a monk or nun is a person who has vowed to follow not only the commandments of the Church, but also the counsels (i.e., vows of poverty, chastity, stability, and obedience). The words of Jesus which are the cornerstone for this ideal are " be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. "
Thus, monks practice [[ hesychasm]], the spiritual struggle of [[ catharsis| purification]] (καθαρσις), [[ theoria| illumination]] (θεωρια) and [[ theosis| divinization]] (θεωσις) in [[ prayer]], the [[ sacrament]] s and obedience.
Precursors of the Christian monastic ideal== The ancient models of the modern Christian monastic ideal are the [[Nazarite]]s and the [[prophet]]s of Israel. A Nazarite was a person voluntarily separated to the Lord, under a special vow.
: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body. He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head. ([[Numbers]] 6:2-8)
[[Image: Wadi Qelt. jpg|left|thumb|350px|Monastery of St. [[George the Chozebite]], Wadi Qelt<br>(On the road from Jerusalem to Jericho)]] The prophets of [[Israel]] were set apart to the Lord for the sake of a message of [[repentance]]. Some of them lived under extreme conditions, voluntarily separated or forced into seclusion because of the burden of their message. Other prophets were members of communities, schools mentioned occasionally in the Scriptures but about which there is much speculation and little known. The pre- Abrahamic prophets, [[Enoch]] and [[Melchizedek]], and especially the Jewish prophets [[Elijah]] and his disciple [[Elisha]] are important to Christian monastic tradition. The most frequently cited "role-model" for the life of a hermit separated to the Lord, in whom the Nazarite and the prophet are believed to be combined in one person, is [[ John the Baptist]] . John also had disciples who stayed with him and, as may be supposed, were taught by him and lived in a manner similar to his own:
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. ([[ Gospel of Matthew|Matthew]] 3:1-6)
The female role models for monasticism are the [[ Theotokos]] and the four virgin daughters of the [[ Apostle Philip ( of the Twelve)]]:
And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. ([[ Acts of the Apostles| Acts]] 21:7- 9)
[[Image:Romanian_hieromonk.jpg|right|thumb|250px|This image from a monastery in Rumania shows the [[abbot]] (or [[igumen]]) seated in the chair reserved for his status. He is holding the staff of his office and wearing the [[epitrachelion]] that symbolizes his priesthood as a [[hieromonk]].]]
The monastic ideal is also modeled upon the [[Apostle Paul]], who is believed to have been [[celibacy|celibate]], and a tentmaker: