The Flaw of Neo-Monasticism

Yesterday I was talking with one of the Cistercian monks with whom I work at the Abbey Store. I mentioned the concept of neo-monasticism to him and he said he had never heard of it. So I told him it was a movement toward new forms of intentional Christian communities, popular especially with young evangelicals. He interrupted me. "Are they celibate?" He asked abruptly. I said that I believed most neo-monastic groups neither required nor forbade celibacy. "Then they're not really monastics," he … [Read more...]


The ever-vigilant Mike Morrell alerted me to this one. Whew! I'm glad he did. I was on the primrose path for sure...The New Monasticism is Really Really Bad;-) … [Read more...]

Plain as the Nose

Sometimes, things are so obvious that your humble servant here simply misses them altogether. This is one of the gifts of contemplative practice: when I slow down long enough to actually remind myself that I am a breathing organism who continues to live and love solely by the grace of God, among other things I'm giving my brain a chance to catch up with my normal speed-of-life distracted self.This morning, just as my wife and I were chanting the words by which we begin our prayer every morning … [Read more...]

Shane Claiborne

Last night Fran and Rhiannon and I drove up to Berry College outside of Rome, GA to hear Shane Claiborne speak. Shane is the author of a wonderful book called The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (I've been meaning to write a review of it and just haven't gotten to it yet; for now let's just say it's a book that belongs on your "must read" list). A leading figure in the neo-monastic movement, Shane is a co-founder of a small intentional community in Philadelphia, where he … [Read more...]

Punk Monk

Punk Monk: New Monasticism and the Ancient Art of Breathing By Andy Freeman and Pete Greig Ventura, California: Regal Books, 2007 Review by Carl McColmanFirst, a confession: I fell in love with this book the moment I heard of its title. Bands like the Clash and the Jam provided the soundtrack to my undergraduate years, so I guess I have a soft spot for the punk world (even though I was never much of a punk myself). And while a title like this could easily signify a book that is more cutesy … [Read more...]

School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism

School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism Edited by The Rutba House Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2005 Review by Carl McColmanThe Rutba House is an intentional Christian community located in Durham, NC; on the back of this book of essays, it is described as a "community of hospitality, peacemaking and discipleship." It's also a leading voice in an exciting development within the Christian community: "neo-monasticism." According to the online essay A Brief History of New Monasticism, … [Read more...]


I'm not sure if I know what the "new monasticism" is, but this weekend event sure sounds interesting:Inhabiting the Church: New Monasticism and God's RevolutionIf nothing else, the website for this event lists two books that sound interesting: Shane Claiborne's The Irresistible Revolution and an anthology called School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism. … [Read more...]