A monk, derived from Greek monos (alone), in modern parlance also referred to as a monastic, is a person who practices religious asceticism, the conditioning of mind and body in favor of the spirit, and does so living either alone or with any number of like-minded people, whilst always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy. A friar is a type of monk who lives in service to society, rather than through cloistered asceticism and devotion.
In the Greek language the term can apply to men or women; but in modern English it is in use only for men, while nun is used for female monastics.
Although the term monachos (“monk”) is of Christian origin, in the English language it tends to be used analogously or loosely also for ascetics from other religious or philosophical backgrounds.
The term monk is generic and in some religious or philosophical traditions it therefore may be considered interchangeable with other generic terms such as ascetic. However, being generic, it is not interchangeable with terms that denote particular kinds of monk, such as cenobite, hermit, anchorite, hesychast, solitary.
Monks and spanking
A monk whips a woman outdoors on her bare bottom. Historic illustration, colorized.
Broer Cornelis, Mezzotint by Jacob Gole (1684-1724).
|Spanking / corporal punishment and religion|
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