Abbey vs Monastery
Abbey and monasteries are religious structures in Christianity that are hard to define even for the followers of this faith, leave alone for followers of other religions. This is because of the many similarities between an abbey and a monastery. In fact, there are many who feel that the two terms are synonymous and can be used interchangeably. However, the fact is that there are subtle differences between these two structures that will be discussed in this article.
Abbey is a word derived from Latin abbatia or Abramic abba that is a word used to refer to father. The facility or structure is sacred in nature as it is the residence of the Abbot, a spiritual leader of the Christian community in a particular place. An abbey may also be called a monastery or a convent in many places. A structure is called Abbey when it has been granted the stature by the holy church of Italy. Thus, a catholic convent when it is resided and supervised by an Abbot or an Abbess begins to be called an abbey. In general, a structure resided by monks or priests and used for worship and for daily chores by these religious men is referred to as an abbey. Different abbeys are used for different purposes by priests, and besides living, there could be training or even grooming of young priests inside an abbey.
Monastery is a house or a structure that is used by monks, hermits, monastics, or nuns to live. The word has been derived from a Greek word monazein that means to live alone. The word has been used to refer to habitat of religious people who live away from common people. Monastery is a word that is commonly used in countries where Buddhism is followed to refer to residences or Viharas of religious men or women. In many places, monasteries mean temples. They are called gompa in Tibet wile wat is the word used in East Asian countries like Thailand and Laos.
In terms of Christianity, a monastery can be an abbey, a nunnery, or a priory. In Hinduism, a monastery can be roughly equated with a matha or an ashram and not a temple. In Jainism, a monastery is a vihara where Jain monks or priests live.
What is the difference between Abbey and Monastery?
• Monasteries are places of residence of monks and hermits in many religions, and in Christianity, monasteries emerged to provide a place to priests to live, worship, and train in religious matters.
• Abbey is a structure or building that is used by abbot or abbess, to live and supervise the daily chores of priests and monks.
• Abbey is the title that is granted to a convent or a monastery by the Holy Church in Italy.
• Thus, an abbey is a monastery but not all monasteries are abbeys
• Monastery is a word that reflects a residence or a building where hermits and monks lead a monastic way of life.
• Abbey is a word that comes from Aramaic abba that stands for father.