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RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict in English Paperback – February 1, 1981

4.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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About the Author

Originally from Washington, DC, Mark Sheridan is a Benedictine monk of Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem and professor emeritus in the Faculty of Theology of the Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome, where he served as dean of the Faculty of Theology (1998-2005) and Rector Magnificus (2005-2009) of the Athenaeum. Among his publications are Genesis 12-50 in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series, Rufus of Shotep: Homilies on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and From the Nile to the Rhone and Beyond: Studies in Early Monastic Literature and Scriptural Interpretation. He is a specialist in Coptic language and literature. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press (February 1, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814612725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814612729
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
The Rule of St. Benedict is a fairly short book, pocket-sized, and only 96 pages long. It is a good example of the statement, 'good things come in small packages'. Father Timothy Fry, OSB (which stands for 'Order of St. Benedict', and is used by monastics and oblates) wrote a brief preface to the book, in which he explains that the rule is a guide of life, but not 'a rigid, brutal structure imposed legalistically'. Benedict was fully aware of human frailty, as true 1500 years ago as it is today. This frailty requires much to be done to give the person strength, and so Benedict's Rule is designed for an ever-increasing self-discipline which is supported by community worship and practice.
Benedict's Rule for life includes worship, work, study, prayer, and relaxation. Benedict's Rule requires community -- even for those who become hermits or solitaries, there is a link to the community through worship and through the Rule. No one is alone. This is an important part of the relationship of God to the world, so it is an integral part of the Rule.
Benedict's Rule was set out first in a world that was torn with warfare, economic and political upheaval, and a generally harsh physical environment. This Rule was set out to bring order to a general chaos in which people lived. This is still true today, and men and women all over the world use Benedict's 'little rule for beginners' as a basic structure for their lives.
The first word of the rule is Listen. This is perhaps the best advice for anyone looking for any guidance or rule of life.
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Format: Paperback
There seems to be some confusion over which edition these reviews are about. If the product details for the page you are looking at show less than 100 pages, this is a basic copy of the Rule of St. Benedict. If you are looking for the Rule (RB 1980), in Latin and English (with excellent notes from Timothy Fry), it should be a little less then 700 pages.
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Format: Paperback
This simple rule is as usefull today as it was 1500 years ago. No matter what your position in life, following some or all of these principles will help simplify your life. It will help you to re-discover God's presence. Simple wisdom that has stood the test of time.
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In regards to the english/latin version: This book was standard reading in my novitiate, but I fell in love with the historical information as well as the commentary that goes with the rule. I would recommend this book to anybody considering any type of religious vocation as well as to those who are interested in the history of christian monasticism.
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Format: Paperback
THE RULE OF ST. BENEDICT is the classic text for monastic life. Reading it will be interesting to most modern Protestants, much the way that trivia written on a Pringles potato chip is interesting.

HOWEVER, if the modern Protestant reader makes a couple of simple substitutions (i.e. monastery = church life, abbot = pastor, etc.) the rule takes on a new life and makes an excellent devotional booklet.

This short book is all about life within community, which is often an Achilles heel of Protestant churches. Within the covers of this book are hard hitting comments about holding the tongue, silence, humility, submission, hospitality, living a life of prayer, decision making, etc. With a few minor alterations these comments are as applicable to modern Protestants as to sixth century monastics. Do not get hung up on the particulars, focus on the principles. I don't know of many monks today that sleep in common bunk houses, but they still focus on the communal truths contained in the text.

If you are a Protestant, do not shy away from this book. It has the potential to deepen your understanding of the church.
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Format: Paperback
Truly this is the centerpiece, with the Gospels and Cassian and Origen, etc., for any Catholic monastic library, and yet other translations can be found, in particular Doyle's clear and faithful reading version of The Rule of Saint Benedict. I shall give a few reasons for this determination in a moment.

This review refers of course to the 627 page reference work published by Collegeville's Liturgical Press, with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, which still bear some small significance for some of us, upon the occassion of the 1500th anniversary of Saint Benedict's birth. Surprisingly the product detail page here on amazon gives us few details of this irreplaceable and comprehensive and monumental and historic work. Permit me this disclaimer that my poor summary here in no way can replace a careful personal examination of this necessary book, and space prevents neither such a presentation nor a careful theological examination.

Briefly therefore this work opens with a contextual and historical forward by Martin Burne, OSB, of Saint Mary's in Morristown. What follows is a Preface by the head stylist, Rev. Timothy Fry, OSB, of Atchison, who explains the process of translation by committee as well as explaining the lay-out and the production and producers of this monumental Benedictine work, and assorted acknowledgements. As Father Timothy explains, Part I is the Introduction with a history of monasticism in order to set the Rule of Saint Benedict in its historical and cultural context, including an understanding of the references to other authors made by Saint Benedict.
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