Sunday, December 18, 2005

Monasticism Anyone?

As I contemplate the problems of our culture, secular and ecclesiastical,I find myself wondering increasingly whether an answer lies in monasticism. One problem is that I am not even sure what that means. Though I am from a Catholic background, I have had no exposure to monks or monasteries. What ideas I have probably come mostly from fictional accounts, and perhaps from "How the Irish Saved civilization" and Merton's "Seven Story Mountain," both read years ago. More specifically, though this page is named after a poem named after a Protestant religious community, I know almost nothing about such communities except that they almost universally failed in one or two generations. The nearby Ephrata cloisters are a case in point. A lovely tourist attraction, but no living community. There's a Moravian girls' school in Lititz, but apparently no Moravians.

Can anyone point me to any sites or books that discuss the foundational ideas of Protestant monasticism, especially of communities that survived for some time? I have found the following sites so far, but they don't provide much detail about the foundations:


  1. This book and the community surrounding it puts forth a "new monasticism." I'm sure some Prostestant history would be included.


  2. Yeah, the guy who is a part of it, Jonathan Wilson Hart-Grove, went to my Alma-Mater: Eastern University.

  3. How about the Bruderhof? (Although they seem to be going through a bad patch at the moment.)

  4. Okay, after a fair bit of reading google-cached sites of Bruderhof dissenters, I must say I don't know if that was such a great suggestion.