How to Think Like a Medieval Monk

Relief fragment with three monks, c. 1160, via The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters Collection, 1947

By Julia Bourke

They may have been founded in 1098, but the Cistercian order in France still managed to anticipate one of the most exciting discoveries of modern science. Known as the “white monks” because of their habits of undyed sheep’s wool, the Cistercians envisaged religious life as a process of…

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