Bethlehem Bible College Offers a Course About Monasticism in the Holy Land
Take a break from all the social media platforms and the rapid technological advancement. Leave all the materialistic world behind, and come with us on a trip to the 4th Century, to the monasteries of that time to wrestle alone with God and strengthen your relationship with Him!
This was the primary goal of this online course about Monasticism. Mr. Haytham Dieck, the Head of the Tour Guide Program and course teacher, said:
“We have many monasteries here in the Holy Land, and those monasteries are part of a very rich heritage developed during the Byzantine period. They testified to a significant memory of the Christian life and faith back in the 4th Century. Some still exist, but only a few, while others remain as ruins.”
Monasticism was a peculiar movement in Palestine during the Byzantine Christian period (4th – 7th Century AD), where deserts became spiritual cities and ringing bells could be heard as a majestic symphony. This course tackles the birth of the monastic movement in Palestine. Who started them? What were the early monasteries that were established? Their architectural types and theological meaning highlighted monks’ daily lives inside their monasteries and cells, and their impact informs today’s Christian world. What messages we can learn from Monasticism in our everyday lives?
The goals of the course, according to Mr. Haytham, were to learn the history of Monasticism, understand the different types of monasteries, pinpoint the great impact monasteries had on the Christian world, and meet the important figures in Monasticism such as Hilarion, Chariton, Euthymius, Saba, Theodosius, etc. We studied the environment in which Monasticism was born, and learned more about the important monasteries in Palestine such as Mar Saba, Saint Theodosius, Gerasimus, etc.
Mr. Haytham added: “We were surprised that the number of participants was that large. We still had people who wanted to join the course even by the third week. These people have a very rich academic background in Monasticism and Christian theology. We also noticed how interested people were in the course; you could tell by the number of questions they asked in the lectures and the number of follow-ups.
“It’s something that thrills us, that the course has been successful. So we hope that we will keep on with more and more of these courses which we believe touch the hearts of many people.”