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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, the conditioning of mind and body in favor of the spirit. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions. Although ascetics existed in various religions prior to Christianity, the term “monk” is of Christian invention. The female equivalent is a nun. Famous monks include Saint Anthony and Ambrosio, the fictional monk of The Monk.



The term monk comes from the Greek monachos (μοναχός), commonly translated as solitary, one living alone. In the Greek language, the term can apply to men or women, but in English, it usually applies only to men, while nun is more commonly used to refer to female monastics.

Related terms

Other terms such as hesychast, solitary, hermit, anchorite, ascetic are usually interchangeable with monk.

See also


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Monk" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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