A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation
By Jason Brian Santos
Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2008
Review by Carl McColman
Long before any of us had heard the term “neo-monasticism” — long before Shane Claiborne and the The Simple Way or Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Rutba House had captured the imagination of a young generation of ecumenically-minded Christians looking for intentional community — there were wonderful, Protestant/ecumenical communities that flowered in the middle decades of the twentieth century. People interested in Celtic Christianity may know of the Iona Community, founded on an ancient Scottish monastic site by a Presbyterian minister in the 1930s. But even more famous is Taizé, founded in 1940 by Brother Roger and now renowned for its distinctive music and chanting, as well as its model for authentic ecumenical monasticism (Brother Roger was a Protestant, his successor, the current Prior Brother Alois, is Catholic). This book, by a young American evangelical, offers an introduction to both the experience of visiting Taizé as well as to the history and philosophy of this colony of heaven. It should be of interest to anyone interested not only in Christian community and spirituality, but also for anyone with a sincere commitment to authentic ecumenical expressions of faith.