Friday, May 13, 2005

New Monasticism

A lot of buzz about "new monasticism" right now, it seems. Andrew Jones tells us the subject came up often in conversation during the recent Allelon-sponsored consultation at Fuller Seminary. On May 9 Alan Creech announced his plans to form "an intentional rural monastic community" near Lexington, Kentucky. Will Samson is also getting ready to move his family into a new monastic community in Kentucky, near Asbury.

11 comments:

messenger said...

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Steve K. said...

Whoa! That comment is totally unrelated and out of nowhere. I'm tempted to just delete it, but, this aint my blog, so I'll wait 'til Stephen gets back and he can decide whether to shoot the messenger (or not).

Anthony said...

steve,

what are your thoughts on this "new monasticism"?

Anonymous said...

Featured at SmartChristian Blog. Andy

brad said...

I personnally think of monastic as a learning community. I think the idea of monastic as seperate from the world as in "off in the middle of no where" is not really what I think of as the new monastic. Are these "new monastic" missing the missional part of monastic. Just an honest question. If we are going to enter a new monastic community as a way of learning Christian practice but we use old monastic methods of being seperate we are missing the point of being missional and monastic.

Steve K. said...

I think Brad's caution against "separatism" is wise. Based on what I've heard/read about what Alan and the Samsons are doing, that does not seem to be the case. I know, for instance, that Will & Lisa are moving into an urban setting with the mission/purpose of doing the work of urban renewal. Alan's comments seem to indicate an ongoing connection to the community in Lexington, Ky. So at least from those two examples (and other things I've read) I do not get a sense that this "new monasticism" is about separation from the world, but rather integration and mission.

To answer Anthony's question, I'm very interested in exploring this further. I believe we could be a part of a "new monastic" community at some point. Then again, I've heard about the "dark side" of the Jesus People communes, the Bruderhof community, etc., all of which presents a "cautionary tale" for anyone seriously seeking to commit themselves to this level of Christian community.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen http://www.newmonasticism.org/ ? There's not a whole lot there, but there is much in this book that came out of a new monasticism conference last summer: School(s) for Conversion
12 Marks of a New Monasticism http://www.wipfandstock.com/bookstore.cfm?bookID=1915&do=detail

Pops said...

That last post was by Rob Moll. Sorry, I don't have a blog name.

Brian said...

Very cool stuff, Steve. My wife and I started dreaming of this a couple of months ago and it now seems like it really could happen. We've been doing the research and praying about it and some opportunities seem to be presenting themselves. Ours is basically an urban co-housing project that will mostly be inhabited by Christians... so, I don't know if you could really call it "new monasticism" but it has some common traits. We're going to have church there in the homes and we're going to work together to show love to the neighborhood. Haven't thought much beyond that except we're really going to shoot for simple living when it comes to the design.

tschaka said...

Interesting to hear all this stuff about 'new monasticism'. I live in a Jesus People community in the UK (not related to JPUSA). For me, community living is more about growing the church, it's evangelistic: creating a hub for the wider church community, resourcing the church through discipleship, hospitality to strangers and the needy, city on a hill, light of the world etc. Some find the idea scary but, if we are empowered by the Spirit to love one another, there's nothing we can't accomplish for God's kingdom through our obedience.

However, I don't know much about the thoughts of new monasticism itself.

I'm keeping a blog of my experiences. It's only 2 weeks old but you're welcome to take a look:
www.jesus-army-radical.blogspot.com

Stephen said...

thanks for the post and the blog reference!