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New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today's Church
Brazos Press / 2008 / Paperback
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Co-founder of Rutba House in Durham, North Carolina, Wilson-Hartgrove offers an insider's view of Christians who are settling into abandoned sections of society, committing to community, sharing incomes, serving the poor, and practicing spiritual disciplines. A revealing look at how the New Monastics are rejuvenating the church---and depending on it for stability, diversity, and structure. 160 pages, softcover from Brazos.
New Monasticism is a growing movement of committed Christians who are recovering the radical discipleship of monasticism and unearthing a fresh expression of Christianity in America. It's not centered in a traditional monastery--many New Monastics are married with children--but instead its members live radically, settling in abandoned sections of society, committing to community, sharing incomes, serving the poor, and practicing spiritual disciplines.
New Monasticism by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove offers an insider's perspective into the life of the New Monastics and shows how this movement is dependent on the church for stability, diversity, and structure. A must-read for New Monastics or those considering joining the movement, it will also appeal to pastors, leaders, those interested in the emerging church, and 20- and 30-somethings searching for new ways to be Christian.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (MDiv, Duke University Divinity School) is a leader of the New Monastic movement and cofounded the Rutba House community in Durham, North Carolina. An associate minister at St. John's Baptist Church in Durham, he is also the coordinator of the School for Conversion, a partnership among New Monastic communities for alternative theological education. He is the author of To Baghdad and Beyond and Inhabiting the Church.
"It is my sincere hope that new monasticism will grow so strong and healthy and widespread that every follower of Jesus in every church has the opportunity, if not to actually live in a new monastic community, to at least have enough proximity and relationship to be influenced by it. This book can help that dream and prayer come true." --Brian McLaren, author of Everything Must Change
"This is the most informative work to date on its subject. Written in fluid, accessible prose and without pretense, it is also rich in personal and historical insights. The result is a book that is both beguiling and highly credible." --Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours
"This book demonstrates how embracing the lifestyle prescribed by Jesus is a realistic possibility in our present age. It also shows how countercultural Christianity can provide a needed critique of our self-centered, consumerist society." --Tony Campolo, Eastern University
"This book is a scavenger hunt into Christian history and the abandoned places of Empire where the Spirit is stirring today. It's like digging around in the dirt trying to find the pearl we buried, the pearl that is so beautiful it's worth giving up everything else in the world for." --Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution
"Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is bringing things both old and new out of the great Christian storehouse! New monasticism is discovering what is always rediscovered--and always bears great life for the gospel." --Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation
"It's hard to be a Christian in America," writes Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, a leader in the new monasticism movement in America, a growing group of committed Christians who are living lives of radical discipleship.
However, the movement doesn't mirror traditional monasteries---many members are married with children and have careers, yet they live differently, often in community in once-abandoned sections of society.
Wilson-Hartgrove founded a new monastic community and works with an alternative theological collaborative. In this book, he takes readers inside new monasticism, tracing its roots through scripture and history and illuminating its impact on the contemporary church. He identifies the key tenets of new monasticism, including:
Its a vision so old it looks new, writes Wilson-Hartgrove, a 20-something North Carolina pastor who is part of New Monasticism.New Monastics, he says, are a loosely confederated group of Christians who choose to live in intentional communities, often in blighted areas.Its age-old monasticism, but with new twists: some practitioners are celibate singles, but many others are married with children; some communities hold all goods in common and pool their economic resources, while others retain individual ownership.The books more coherent and invigorating second half explores the marks of New Monasticism, including geographic relocation, redistribution of wealth, ecumenism, peacemaking and submission to the church.These chapters, which offer a treasure trove of concrete examples and stories of real communities that practice these values, eclipse the books unfocused first half, which mires down in broad descriptions of American Christianitys complex problems and an obligatory dose of monastic history.Readers who are serious about putting New Monastic ideas into practice may want to skip the first 75 pages in favor of life-changing practices like relational tithing (maintaining no more than one degree of separation between the giver of charity and its receiver).(May)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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