READ List of Famous Monks

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This list of famous monks includes photos, bios, and other information, when available. Who are the top monks in the world? This includes the most prominent monks, living and dead, both in America and abroad. You might also enjoy these photos of monks enjoying beer or the cannibal Aghori monks of India. This list of notable monks is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic monks were born and what their nationality is. The monk names on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned monks.

Some of the famous monk names listed below include Grigori Rasputin, Martin Luther, and more. Whether you're looking to learn about female monks, Catholic monks, Chinese monks, Asian monks, Italian monks, Buddhist monks, or any other legendary monks, they're sure to be listed below. Even if you're looking for good, cool, or funny monk names, this list has them all. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known monks to, perhaps, a lesser-known monk name with which you aren't yet familiar, these are easily the most notable and famous monks throughout history. Who are the most famous monks ever? What are the names of famous monks? Read on to find out!

Martin Luther is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Monks
Photo:  Lucas Cranach the Elder/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Martin Luther was a German friar, priest and professor of theology who was a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Initially an Augustinian friar, Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor. Luther taught ...more

Age: Died at 63 (1483-1546)

Birthplace: Eisleben, Germany

Nationality: Holy Roman Empire

Profession: Priest, Theologian, Professor, Physician, Monk, + more

Also Ranked

#98 on The Best Writers of All Time

#41 on The Most Important Leaders in World History

#23 on The Most Influential People of All Time

#49 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

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Nhat Hanh is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Monks
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He lives in the Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region in the South of France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. He coined the term Engaged Buddhism in his book Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire. A long-term exile, he was given permission to make his first return trip to Vietnam in 2005. Nhất Hạnh has published more than 100 books, including more than 40 in English. Nhat Hanh is active in the peace movement, promoting non-violent solutions to conflict and he also refrains from animal product consumption as a means of non-violence towards non-human animals. In November 2014, ...more

Age: 91

Birthplace: Vietnam

Nationality: Vietnam

Profession: Pacifist, Poet, Monk, Writer, Teacher

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Grigori Rasputin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Monks
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a Russian peasant, mystical faith healer and a trusted friend to the Tsar's family. He became an influential figure in Saint Petersburg, especially after August 1915 when Tsar Nicholas II took command of the army at the front. There is much uncertainty over Rasputin's life and the degree of influence he exerted over the shy and irresolute Tsar and the strong-willed Alexandra Feodorovna, his wife. Accounts are often based on dubious memoirs, hearsay and legend. While his influence and position may have been exaggerated, historians agree that his presence played a significant role in the increasing unpopularity of the Imperial couple and the downfall of the ...more

Age: Died at 47 (1869-1916)

Birthplace: Russia, Pokrovskoye

Nationality: Russia

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Gregor Mendel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Monks
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Gregor Johann Mendel was a German-speaking Moravian scientist and Augustinian friar who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the modern science of genetics. Though farmers had known for centuries that crossbreeding of animals and plants could favor certain desirable traits, Mendel's pea plant experiments conducted between 1856 and 1863 established many of the rules of heredity, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance. Mendel worked with seven characteristics of pea plants: plant height, pod shape and color, seed shape and color, and flower position and color. With seed color, he showed that when a yellow pea and a green pea were bred together their offspring plant was always ...more

Age: Died at 62 (1822-1884)

Birthplace: Hynčice, Czech Republic

Nationality: Austria-Hungary

Profession: Scientist, Monk, Botanist

Also Ranked

#79 on The Most Influential People of All Time

#44 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

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