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The Development of Female Ascetics in the Early Church

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The Development of Female Ascetics in the Early Church

This paper will explore the development of female ascetics during the early Church and show how these practices affect the 21st century Churches outlook on woman. We will explore many aspects of asceticism such as the scriptural examples, spiritual motivations, reasons for choosing this lifestyle and the overall implications upon church history.
Asceticism, along with monasticism, are two spiritual disciplines encouraging and focusing on the elimination and/or de-emphasizing of worldly pleasure(s) in order to further focus an individual upon achieving a higher, more spiritual life. Many faith backgrounds across many religions have adapted both asceticism and monasticism. Essentially, asceticism practices extreme self-denial in order to grow spiritually. Monasticism focuses on this as well but typically also includes seclusion and the separation from the world entirely.
Asceticism is taken from the Greek word askesis, meaning “exercise, training, practice” (FOOTNOTE). The ascetic believes that the world is full of pleasures and environments that will detract from and lead you down an immoral lifestyle. They will renounce these distractions in hopes of spiritual growth and enlightenment and live a life of abstinence, austerity and extreme self-denial. As stated above it is common to many various religions, including: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.
Though asceticism is similar to stoicism it is
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