A New Kind of Christian...community?

Last night we met at Carol Street Cafe in Cabbage Town to discuss a phenomenon being labeled, "The New Monasticism." (See Troy's earlier post for links to these topics in Christianity Today and Christian Century. We were joined by Prof. Steve Hayner of Columbia Theological Seminary. Having read the pertinent articles and clustered into three smaller groups, Dr. Hayner asked us to reflect on the following question: How new is the New monasticism? I can only speak on behalf of the group I participated in, but this question fueled our night's discussion wonderfully.

Our group raised many further questions about authenticity, the nature of community in general, a preferential option for the poor, racial reconciliation, generational differences and issues involving established denominationalism. We asked more questions than we had answers, but that is the nature of dialogue. For me, the New Monasticism slips when its adherents fail to recognize where they fit within the Church catholic through the centuries. Nevertheless, it seems that some of the communities mentioned in the articles are trying to connect with other, more established monastic orders. I remain hopeful and intrigued by such manifestations of Christian community. Perhaps, like the first monastic communities, such assemblies will be preservers of the faith until such a time that the Church again finds her voice in a world crying for meaningfulness. We shall see.

Okay, so for those of you who participated (or for those of you who missed last night's meeting but still want to weigh-in on the discussion), how do you answer Dr. Hayner's question? Are these fledgling communities harbingers of a new way of being Christ followers entirely? What resemblance to they bear to the different monastic communities of the past and present? How might such groups materialize in the suburbs, if at all? Feel free to weigh in on these, or any other questions relating to community. Peace.

BTW: We will not be meeting in December. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you all on the last Tuesday of January.

community and neo-monastics

Happy Thanksgiving week! The Atlanta Emergent Cohort will be meeting next Tuesday, November 29th, from 8-10pm, to discuss "community" with Steve Hayner, Professor of Evangelism at Columbia Seminary and former director of InterVarsity. We will be paying particular attention to the practices of intentional communities known as new monasticism. There are three great articles to inform you on this. The primary article we will follow is from Christian Century. Do you best to read this before you arrive.

For those eager for extra reading: another there's another helpful article in Christian Century, and a third providing a more historical survey of monasticism.

We will meet in historic Cabbage Town, a neighborhood just east of Turner Field. We have space reserved at Carroll Street Cafe. They have delicious and affordable tapas and desserts.

'Hope to see you there.

About Us

You're a part of a bigger conversation, a bigger story of God's creation unfolding and realizing it's Creator's dreams in the clue of Jesus. Gather monthly to re-imagine how we can best participate locally in this conversation, story, dreams. This is an Emergent Cohort meeting to flesh out four commitments: to God in the way of Jesus, to the Church in all its Forms, to God's World, and to One Another. This is a theological conversation for any practitioners in the way of Jesus.

What is Emergent?

If you are interested in learning more about the larger movement we are a local expression of, visit Emergent Village.