Buddhist Monasticism is one of the earliest surviving forms of organized monasticism in the history of religion. It is also one of the most fundamental institutions of Buddhism. Monks and nuns are considered to be responsible for preserving and teaching Buddhist teachings and guiding Buddhist lay followers.
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“Christianity as an organized religion has not always had a harmonious relationship with the family. Unlike Judaism, it kept almost no rituals that took place in private homes. The esteem that monasticism and priestly celibacy enjoyed implied a denigration of marriage and parenthood.”
—Beatrice Gottlieb, U.S. historian. The Family in the Western World from the Black Death to the Industrial Age, ch. 12, Oxford University Press (1993)