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DSS Course (monastery theory)

Gentlemen:  To the extent that it is suggested that the "monastery theory" is
the product of a number of Catholic fathers acting in the early 1950s - and I
am not sure that this was intended - permit the following from Will Durant,
"The Story of Civilization: Part III, Ceasar and Christ, A History of Roman
Civilization and of Christianity from their beginnings to A.D. 325" with a
1944 copyright by Simon and Schuster:  "The most extreme of the Jewish sects
was that of the Essens.  They derived their piety from the Chasidim, their
name probably from the Chaldaic aschai (bather), their doctrine and practice
from the stream os ascetic theory and regimen circulating through the world
of the last century before Christ; possibly they were influenced by
Brahmanic, Buddhist, Parsee, Pythagorean, and Cynic ideas that came to the
crossroads of trade at Jerusalem.  Numbering some 400 in Palestine, they
organized themselves into a distinct order, observed both the written and the
oral Law with passionate exactitude, and lived together as almost monastic
celibates tilling the soil of the oasis of Engadi amid the desert west of the
Dead Sea.  They dwelt in homes owned by their community, had their meals in
common and in silence, chose their leaders by a general vote, mingled their
goods and earnings in a common treasury, and obeyed the Chasidic motto, 'Mine
and thine belong to thee.'"  This material is footnoted to Sarton, G.,
Introduction to the History of Science, Baltimore, 1930, Vol I, at 283.  I do
not have access to Sarton.  I offer this only as an interested evesdropper on
the continuing dialogue and not as criticism.  Mark Dunn