Essay One (3 full pages) on the Rule of St. Benedict (60 points)
1. Background – While the Rule may seem only applicable to monastic life, the guidance of the Rule resounds for many of us in our desire to preserve and protect the environment.
2. Question — How does the Benedictine Rule guide Benedictine monks in their care for the environment? (60 points)
This paper is an exercise in close reading and writing. There are many aspects of the Rule that you might choose (as explained in the Rule of Benedict video) for example, by focusing on Chapter 33, Monks and private ownership. This would lead me to ask myself, well, if they don’t own something, people generally don’t take care of it! So yes, no private ownership means no greedy over-shopping, but maybe it would lead to neglect and misuse of the monastery’s items, so they would have to be replaced more often.
Then I would look at other chapters to see if St Benedict had thought of that (hint, he had).
So my paper Thesis: might be “No private ownership is one of the key ways Benedictine Monks preserve the environment.”
Or maybe “Strong community rules help Benedictine monks preserve the environment.”
Or “Benedictine monasticism teaches restraint in consuming, so it is good for the environment.”
Notice that my underlying assumption is that less consumption is good for the environment. So I have to make that explicit. My argument is
1) Less consumption is good for the environment (I give evidence supporting which probably fills page 1)
2) St Benedict limited consumption of goods (I give evidence from the Rule for this which probably fills page 2 and part of 3)
Conclusion, Benedict taught his monks to care for the environment! (Final paragraph evaluating your evidence)
You can add opposing points of view within the two parts of your argument .
Please review how to cite the Rule in your paper because it is very different from normal APA citations.
The Rule of Benedict is what is called a classic text in APA. When you do your in text citation the format is, (RB chapter number:verse number).
Laudato Si’ is cited by paragraph number, not page number. In both cases this is because the text appears in many languages, and using either chapter and verse or paragraph number means that anyone can verify the reference.
Finally, email me or post in the Ask Dr F conference if you have more questions
Benedict of Nursia (1981) The Rule of St. Benedict. Minnesota: The Liturgical Press. PDF
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