A Community Called Taizé

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.

In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech
Busting the "Goody Two Shoes" Stereotype of Saints
Why Trappists Make Great Spiritual Guides
Sister Joan Chittister and the Way of Paradox
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • http://fakeexpressionsoftheunkown.wordpress.com/ fakeexpressionsoftheunkown

    Thank you for drawing attention to this beautiful art of song. We use Taize in our community. It is truly both an authentic and aesthetic as way of spiritual singing.

  • Jon Boatwright

    I have been following the Taize community for several years now ever since I first attended a Taize service at my church. I, soon after, wrote an email to the community expressing how deep I felt the service draws you in. Brother Roger actually wrote me back and I regret not keeping that email. What a blessing the Taize community is to our world.