Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Rule of St. Benedict” as Want to Read:
The Rule of St. Benedict
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Rule of St. Benedict

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  4,055 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
St Benedict's inspirational work has been guiding Benedictine monks for fifteen centuries, and the Penguin Classics edition of The Rule of Benedict is translated with an introduction and notes by Carolinne White.

Founder of a monastery at Monte Cassino, between Rome and Naples, in the sixth century, St Benedict intended his Rule to be a practical guide to Christian monastic
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 31st 2008 by Penguin Classics (first published 530)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Rule of St. Benedict, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Rule of St. Benedict

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 10, 2009 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you read this for entertainment you will be sorely disappointed. If you read this as a guide to life, and you are not a monk, you will be sorely disappointed. If you read this with an eye toward how one might live a more calm and disciplined life, adjusting what was written in to Sixth century, to the present day, you might just find what you are looking for.
Bryce Wilson
May 07, 2008 Bryce Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I've often thought that the monastic order is the high-point of my religion. No power, no ambition, just simple and just service to God and man.

Therefore I thought I'd read the beginning of that order. My sympathies are much more in align with the Franciscans then the Benedictions which is to put it gently, a little harsh. A surprisingly large amount of the book deals with Benedict's disdain for laughter and or grumbling.

Alot of this slight volume is simply not very useful to the layman, unless
Carsten Thomsen
Oct 15, 2011 Carsten Thomsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My planned reading of spiritual classics have been quite slow. But here's one that I can recommend. These Rules have greatly influenced monasteries around the world until this day.

They begin with some general reflections on piety that all Christians can benefit from - then he goes on with more specific rules for the monks. There's a spirit here of love and humility and grace - but a lot of the Rules do seem very strict (specially on not talking and not laughing).

OK, there are also some funny Ru
Ilze LA
Mar 16, 2017 Ilze LA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lasīju Benedikta likumus, klausoties agrīno viduslaiku vēstures kursu. Neesmu ticīga, kristiete vēl mazāk, drīzāk agnostiķis parastais ( vai skdriņa Tipa, kas ticēja - neticēja).
Pazemība, paklausība, sods, miesas sods, pašnoliegšana - tās ir kategorijas, pretrunā manai dvēseles būtībai. Tomēr lasot sajutu savu neizbēgamo piederību pasaulei, ko gadsimtiem un paaudzēm veidojusi kristīgā pasaules uztvere, cik daudz kas pašsaprotams tāds ir tieši rietumu kristietības kontekstā, nevis pats par
I purchased this kindle version of the Rule of St. Benedict after reading about this religious text in The Cloister Walk, and wanting to see for myself what was contained in this book that the Benedictines base their lifestyle on.

I find the monastic lifestyle facinating, and can highly respect their ascetic beliefs, and their reasonable, moderate, balanced approach to faith and life. The book is a guide written by St. Benedict, which covers basically everything relating to the monastic lifestyle
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Mar 02, 2015 ♥ Ibrahim ♥ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
It encourages me to grow in the life of faith. The more we have progress in our active faith, the greater we expand in our hearts. The Rule of Saint Benedict says, "When faith makes that progress, the heart is expanded, and is borne along with the indescribable sweetness of love." Lord, grant me such happiness that may expand, stretch and launch out into the deep in You as you asked Peter to. Bring Your own life to my faith and make it such living, vibrant faith, so that I may conquer and gain Y ...more
Hannah Notess
Dec 01, 2014 Hannah Notess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
I mean, there's not a lot of books this old that people are using for guidance to live their daily lives. Everyone gets kitchen duty. Minus one star for the suggestion that if children are out of line, you should beat them, because they won't understand getting excommunicated. I guess times do change.
Nov 04, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For most of us to read this work is to enter another world. Not only is this written in the 6th century AD but it is written about a kind of experience, the truly monastic life, that few of us will experience, much less understand. So what is the worth of this work?

First of all, the choice of a monastic life is the choice to pursue a greater love of God and holiness of life through poverty, simplicity, submission, and stability in a community. For those who don't choose monastic communities, it
Andres Mosquera Salazar
May 03, 2013 Andres Mosquera Salazar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
Decidí leer La Santa Regla después de leer Tres Monjes Rebeldes; necesitaba entender mejor en qué consistía esta forma de vivir de los monjes. Definitivamente esta lectura ha llenado mis expectativas, pues permite entender con mucho más detalle la vida monástica.

Al leer este libro, tan sólo la regla, pude imaginarme la vida de estos monjes: desde su manera de vestir, hasta su forma de rezar. Hay que decir que San Benito proponía un estilo de vida radical y difícil, pero que, sin duda alguna, le
Jan 20, 2014 David rated it really liked it
How do you review a book like this? I mean, there are many nuggets of wisdom throughout that can be beneficial for any reader. But the whole purpose of writing it was to create a rule for monks. Thus, many of the rules on excommunication and daily order of life for monks are more difficult to apply to contemporary non-monastic life. It would be tempting to give it fewer stars since I did not enjoy it nearly as much as a book like Foster's Celebration of Discipline. But that is more my problem th ...more
Read for the Great Conversation second semester of freshman year.
Although I’ve read and listened to The Rule of St. Benedict several times since first being introduced to it twelve or so years ago, a monastic retreat given by Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen O.S.B. from St. Gregory's University at the abbey breathed life into the words of this 1500 year old document. The Rule of St. Benedict, or simply ‘the Rule’ (or RB) was written by St. Benedict of Nursia, considered by some the Father of Western Monasticism and his Rule—which are guidelines for living in communi ...more
One of my favorite things about the Rule of St. Benedict is how kind it is. I think that the popular perception of medieval monks is still filled with hair shirts and flagellation, or, at best, an authoritarian abbot lording over servile monks. Those things aren't made up and they certainly had their place in a medieval monastery. But Benedict's writing gives a much better idea of what it was actually like most of the time - a rather difficult life, and a daunting lack of privacy, but overall a ...more
Jordan Magnuson
First reading: 2005 (RB 1982)
Second reading: 2016 (Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's contemporary paraphrase)

Almost certainly the most significant work ever written on intentional community living. In a world where Utopian visions and good intentions are plentiful, here we have a rule that has withstood the test of 1500 years of day in, day out practice by communities all over the world.

I enjoyed Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's contemporary paraphrase more than I expected to: it manages to stick quite cl
I had to read most of this for class, so I found the rest online and finished it. It was definitely very interesting, and I may as well put it on here.
Mar 26, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
Simple. Pious. Quite enjoyable. An interesting treatise into one of the most influential rules of monastic life. I was drawn in to how holistic and comprehensive a sacrificial (selfless, charitable) life can be. Counter-intuitive to 21st century Western notions of the elevation of the individual. This book outlines a true communal lifestyle.
May 18, 2012 Trever rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is at least the fourth time I have read the Holy Rule, still a phenomenal little guide. I love how much emphasis St. Benedict places on time spent reading, and how reading should be a part of everyone's day.

Just read this again today (10 Nov 2012) and I am struck by how moderate this is, so perfectly balanced between the ideal and real life.
Sep 27, 2014 Zelda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This slim volume is just what it says, a book of rules. Rules for Benedictine monks of the Middle Ages. Which must make it seem an odd choice of reading for a middle-aged housewife of no religious orientation. But, I enjoyed it for it was.
Samuel McCann
Oct 25, 2016 Samuel McCann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
This was a fascinating book to read. Being a Protestant this book probably doesn't carry the same weight for me, but I thought it was a useful look into our attempts to live in devoted relationship with God.
I found interesting so many references to discipline for misbehavior, to the point of banishing the offender from the monastery. I tend to think of monks as being righteous, and most of them were, but this was a reminder that sin exists everywhere.
Rivka D.
I'd make a terrible monk. I don't think any of this sounded like fun . And I'm a woman, so...
All this to say, this was very insightful and I don't regret reading it the second time through.
Some good insights, but monkishness was a bad idea in the first place.
Aug 13, 2016 Tabatha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to a version of this.
Blair Hodgkinson
Primary sources always make for some of the best research materials for a student of the Middle Ages and this is a fine example. Reading the Rule of St. Benedict has offered incredible insight into how medieval monks (at least those who subscribed to this Rule) would have acted or seen their role within the context of their society. It is very helpful for understanding the monastic frame of mind. Recommended.
Feb 24, 2017 Jolene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monastery life. Humanist approach to religion.
Elizabeth Sims
Just thinking about this book makes me calm.
Another daily reader.
Larry Farlow
This summer I’ve been taking a class through iTunes U called “The Early Middle Ages” taught by Professor Paul Freedman of the Open Yale University. It’s been a fascinating and interesting course. Part of the required reading is The Rule of Saint Benedict. From the perspective of the course, the objective is to familiarize you with monastic life, something that’s a huge part of any study of the Middle Ages.

Though it sheds light on how monasteries functioned, it sheds even more light on the theol
Jan 18, 2017 Ryanofthenorth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rule book for christian monks composed in 540 AD. If you're curious about what monastery life would have been like throughout most the middle ages, then this book is for you.
Read this as part of a Great Texts course at Baylor that I'm unofficially auditing.

About the Vintage Spiritual Classics
xi: turn from the therapeutic
xii-xiii: lector divina as an act of prayer

xv: Benedict was fed up with Roman paganism [cf. Martin Luther in 1510-11]
xvii: rules can be abused (sadists and masochists); it's interesting how much the Moore stresses an allegorical interpretation of Benedict's rule, as if he knows the stringency will turn many people off
xviii: modern = individual
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict
  • The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection (Cistercian studies 59)
  • The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages
  • The Spiritual Exercises
  • The Philokalia, Volume 1: The Complete Text
  • On Loving God
  • Revelations of Divine Love
  • A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
  • The Cloud of Unknowing
  • Introduction to the Devout Life
  • The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross
  • Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey Through the Hours of the Day
  • The Love of Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture
  • Uniformity with God's Will
  • The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Fire Within: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the Gospel - On Prayer
  • Interior Castle
  • Abandonment to Divine Providence
Benedict of Nursia (Italian: San Benedetto da Norcia) (c. 480 – 543 or 547) is a Christian saint, honoured by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church as the patron saint of Europe and students.

Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Italy (about 40 miles (64 km) to the east of Rome), before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. The Order of St Benedict i
More about Benedict of Nursia...

Share This Book

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul; and therefore the brethren ought to be employed in manual labor at certain times, at others, in devout reading.” 24 likes
“The first degree of humility is prompt obedience.” 21 likes
More quotes…