Lester Little again: “By a curious paradox, the most significant and lasting vestiges of monasticism occurred either where monasticism was totally wiped out or had never before existed; they are found in English and American colleges and in radical Protestant sects. The collegiate debt to monastic culture is most apparent in the architectural layout of colleges and the complex of buildings essential to each: the enclosure with its carefully controlled entry gate (the porter’s lodge), the bell tower, the imposing mass and central setting of the chapel, the cloisterlike quadrangle, the library, the common room, the refectory, and the sleeping quarters. Less tangible but no less significant are the inextricable complex annual calendar, the daily schedule that totally governs the lives of all members of the community, from entering students to venerable professors, the central role of communal devotion and of study, the meals taken in common, the authority of the master, and so on. At the College of New Jersey, for example, from its foundation in 1746 until 1882, students were required to attend morning prayers, originally held at five A.M., and evening prayers daily, plus morning and afternoon services on Sunday. Much of this sort of organized devotions, schedules, and calendars can be found in all of the earlier American colleges.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm
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