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Carthusians

Carthusians. Part of an 11th-cent. revival of Egyptian solitary ‘desert life’, they were founded as a group of hermits near Grenoble, later La Grande Chartreuse (1084), by Bruno (d. 1101), formerly canon and teacher at Rheims. Their rule was written by Guigo (prior 1110–36), who also founded six other charterhouses in France, all strictly centralized on Chartreuse. A wise combination of the communal and solitary elements of monasticism, Carthusians lived in separate cells with more private than common prayer. As penance for Becket's murder, Henry II established the first English house at Witham, Somerset (1178), whose saintly third prior became Bishop Hugh of Lincoln. Six more houses followed (1342–1414), including London (1371) and the largest, Henry V's foundation at Sheen. Never relaxing their austerity, nor ambitious to proliferate, they were noted for their holiness—many distinguished men took vows—and for their powerful mystical tradition, nourished by writings such as The Cloud of Unknowing. Carthusian observance uniquely has never changed: Nunquam reformata quia nunquam deformata, ‘Never reformed, because never deformed’. The quiet holiness of the early 16th-cent. London Charterhouse, a ‘desert in the city’, contrasting with the ‘noisy, restless, ambitious and sordid whirl of the city streets’ drew many notables for spiritual direction and even resident retreat. Its last prior, John Houghton, ‘a character of rarest strength and beauty’, and his monks were all heroically martyred at the dissolution.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Carthusians

Carthusians (kärthōō´zhənz), small order of monks of the Roman Catholic Church [Lat. abbr.,=O. Cart.]. It was established by St. Bruno at La Grande Chartreuse (see Chartreuse, Grande) in France in 1084. The Carthusians are peculiar among orders of Western monasticism in cultivating a nearly eremitical life: each monk lives by himself with cell and garden and, except for communal worship, scarcely meets the others. No order is more austere. The Carthusian enclosure is called charterhouse in English, and its architecture differs necessarily from that of the Benedictine abbey. The Charterhouse of London was famous, and the Certosa di Pavia, Italy, is an architectural monument. The Carthusians are devoted mainly to contemplation. In 1973 they numbered 440 members throughout the world, of whom there were 10 in the United States, living at the Charterhouse of Arlington, Vt. They are unchanging in their rule, their independence, and their original way of life. There are a very few Carthusian nuns following a similar rule. Chartreuse is the well-known liqueur manufactured by Carthusians in France.

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Carthusian

Carthusian. Of or belonging to a religious Order of monks founded by St Bruno (c.1030–1101) at Chartreuse in Dauphiné in 1084 or 1086 as a more severe interpretation of Benedictine rule. Each monk, devoted to the spirit of contemplation, had individual living-accommodation, generally grouped around courts or cloisters, communal activities being confined to the religious Offices and Holy Days. The architecture was plain and unadorned, and the Order flourished, especially in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Good examples of Carthusian monastery-buildings are the Certosa, Pavia (1396–1497), the Certosa di Val d'Ema, near Florence (founded 1341), and the Cartuja de Miraflores, Burgos (C15), built to designs by members of the Colonia family. In England, a Carthusian establishment was called Charter House, hence the name of the school founded in London on the site of the Carthusian monastery.

Bibliography

W. Papworth (1852)

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Carthusians

Carthusians. Roman Catholic monastic order, so-called from their mother-house, La Grande Chartreuse (Lat., Cartusia, ‘Charter-house’) near Grenoble, founded in 1084 by St Bruno of Cologne (1032–1101). Carthusian monasticism emphasizes eremitic over coenobitic elements. Their austere form of life has changed little since being first codified c.1127 in the Customs of Guigo I, fifth prior of La Grande Chartreuse. Thus the Order is traditionally characterized as ‘never reformed because never deformed’.

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Carthusian

Carthusian one of an order of monks founded by St. Bruno in 1084. XVI. — medL. Carthusiānus, f. Chart(h)ūsia Chartreuse, near Grenoble, France. The earlier form of the place-name was Charteuse; the altered form Chartreuse, AN. Chartrous, was adopted in later ME. and, by assim. to HOUSE, became Charterhouse (i) Carthusian monastery XVI, (ii) hospital founded 1611 on the site of the C. monastery in London, later a public school.

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Carthusian

Car·thu·sian / kärˈ[unvoicedth](y)oōzhən/ • n. a monk or nun of an austere contemplative order founded by St. Bruno in 1084. • adj. of or relating to this order.

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Carthusian

Carthusian Monastic order founded by St Bruno in 1084. It is based at the Grande Chartreuse Monastery near Grenoble, France. It is a mainly contemplative order, in which monks and nuns solemnly vow to live in silence and solitude.

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Carthusian

Carthusian a monk or nun of an austere contemplative order founded by St Bruno in 1084. (See also Charterhouse.)

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Carthusian

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Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.