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Word Count: 1,530
Around 530 CE after living in solitude for a number of years St Benedict wrote his rule that would change the monastic world forever It established a stable and obedient lifestyle for all monks living in the medieval era The Rule of St Benedict RB designs a life for cenobitesthose who belong to a monastery where they serve under a rule and an abbot The three main concepts of the rule are 1- a monk joins and stays in one particular community 2- a monk places himself under a superior and listens to the needs of others and the word of God and 3- a monk begins his quest for God which happens to be through a de-individualized life of work prayer sharing of possessions and celibacy The RB also describes the place where this all occurs the workshop where we toil faithfully at all these tasks is the enclosure of the monastery and the stability in the community Benedict suggests that the architectural order of the monastery where his rule will be enforced has to be harmonious with the life he describes And many monasteries achieved that during their creation such as the Abbey Church in Fontenay Fontenays program helps to create efficiency in the implementation of the RB upon the monks by placing significant spaces adjacent to each other In addition specific features of the plan give the monks all they need in order to live properly Furthermore Fontenay strips itself of ornamentation and superfluous elements to get back to the true values of the RB As a result of these three aspects of the monastery a correlation between both orders develops Any monastery following the RB has to be a claustra or a space where the monks are enclosed Not only does the building physically enclose the monk within its walls it intends to do so mentally as well so the monk can be focused on his search for the love of
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