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Sketes for women


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#1 Robin Elizabeth

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:15 AM

Hi to all.

I was wondering if there are any sketes for women in modern America, or are all the monasteries for women here cenobic?

I have been looking at monasteries for a few years now and it seems that in my present circumstances a skete would be a better fit for me then a cenobic monastery, if I understand the differences correctly.

Thanks to all for any help.

#2 Paul Cowan

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:23 AM

Robin,

If you can tell us your understanding of the two, someone might be able to assist with the answer.

#3 Robin Elizabeth

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:18 PM

Dear Paul,

My understanding is that cenobic monasteries are those that are under a single abbess/abbot and completely communal (all meals together, all hours done communally, etc). A skete would be a more "informal" setting, for lack of a better word. There is usually one member that acts as an abbess/abbot by common consent of everybody, but the live is less communal then in a cenobic monastery. The monastics spend less time together, prayer is mostly private, the monks/nuns do their own work for support, but they come together for liturgy and sometimes for meals.

#4 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:25 PM

In the US at least, many monasteries may be cenobitic in ambition but are basically sketic in practicality since they are so small to begin with.

#5 Robin Elizabeth

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:35 PM

I just found this definition online and it seems to be clearer then anything I can say, so here goes:

A skete is a community of Christian hermits following a monastic rule, allowing them to worship is comparative solitude while also affording them a level of mutual practical support and security.

A skete usually has a common area of worship (Church or Chapel) with individual hermitages or small houses for a small number of monks or nuns.

In the early tradition of Christianity, the skete was one form of monastic life, forming a bridge between the cenobium (community of monks or nuns living together) and the isolated hermitage (solo monks and nuns). The skete acts as almost a 'halfway house' between the cenobium and total solitude.

#6 Robin Elizabeth

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:38 PM

In the US at least, many monasteries may be cenobitic in ambition but are basically sketic in practicality since they are so small to begin with.


Actually I don't think that the difference between the cenobic monastery and a skete has anything to do with size. If a monastery is set up with a particular kind of communal life then it is cenobic even if it only has a few monastics.

#7 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:06 AM

Actually I don't think that the difference between the cenobic monastery and a skete has anything to do with size. If a monastery is set up with a particular kind of communal life then it is cenobic even if it only has a few monastics.


In which case it is a small house for a small number of monastics. The differences, for all intents and purposes at that level are minimal. I would check out a couple and see for yourself.

Or at least so it seems to this bear of admittedly little brain.

Herman the Pooh




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