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A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation Paperback – September 26, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation + Brother Roger of Taize: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) + Songs & Prayers from Taize
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (September 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830835253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830835256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. When he first visited the Taizé ecumenical community in France's Burgundy region, author Santos, now a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, had no plans to write a book. By his second trip, however, the idea for one had taken root. Geared to an English-speaking, North American audience and said to be a first-of-its-kind account, this lovely and instructive book mingles the community's history with descriptions of day-to-day life and practical information about making a pilgrimage to Taizé. Although many American Christians are familiar with Taizé's chants, few may know the details Santos imparts. Most compelling among them is the author's witnessing Taizé founder Brother Roger's violent death in 2005 at the hands of a disturbed woman during evening prayers. Santos insists that this did not lead him to write the book, but it provides a remarkable context for writing about the community that has attracted so many with its message of reconciliation, trust and freedom. Besides Santos's careful research, readers will appreciate his thoughtful ideas about how to take Taizé's spirit beyond the community. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Lovely and instructive. . . . Besides Santos's careful research, readers will appreciate his thoughtful ideas about how to take Taizé's spirit beyond the community." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"If a virtual reality tour can be conducted through words Jason Brian Santos has done it in this book, giving the reader a sense that she has now visited Taizé and is eager to go again--but this time in the flesh. Along the way, Jason helps us to understand why this movement of reconciliation has attracted thousands of young people all over the world and encourages us to learn from the brothers ways in which this same spirit can infect Christians from all branches of the splintered church." (Dennis Okholm, professor of theology, Azusa Pacific University)

"A Community Called Taizé is a jewel of a book, like Taizé itself--simple, reverent and surprisingly comprehensive. With effortless prose, Jason Santos makes us feel like we are there, taking part in the community’s monastic rhythms, singing the prayers, meeting the brothers (and some women too). Santos has thought of everything, from local customs to packing lists--but don't miss the last part of the book, which suggests what churches can learn from the community’s theology, practices and prayers. If you are visiting Taizé--or if you simply wonder why an ecumenical community of brothers attracts more than 100,000 young people every year without a single ice-breaker--you simply must read this book. It will set the standard for our understanding of Taizé for years to come." (Kenda Creasy Dean, Author, Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church)

"Jason Brian Santos has caught the essence of the Taizé community through his scholarly, perceptive and spiritual presentation. In an amazing style, this book provides a real taste of Taizé for the benefit of those who have not yet undertaken a pilgrimage there. Santos provides insightful, practical and powerful tools for everyone who would like to undertake a pilgrimage to Taizé. Through his own experiences and his scholarly articulation, he helps others serve themselves to the richness of Christian spirituality and spirit of ecumenism that permeate the world through the hills of Burgundy that nestle the community of Taizé." (Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, resident bishop, New Jersey area, The United Methodist Church)

"In A Community Called Taizé Jason Santos shares with us, in extensive detail and with personal involvement, his experience as a visitor to our hill in Burgundy. His hope--and ours as well--is that it may allow North Americans to see that, beyond the repetitive chanting and a particular style of meditative prayer, Taizé is an ecumenical monastic community that wishes, through worship and community life, to help young adults discover Jesus Christ as a source of reconciliation for divided Christians and as a promise of peace in the human family." (Brother John, Taizé)

"Having been to Taizé several times, I know what a spellbinding place it is. I also know how extremely difficult it would be to capture the beauty and mystery of the place and its people with words on a page. That's why Jason Santos's achievement is so noteworthy. What he has done with A Community Called Taizé is to write both a primer on that wonderful community and a pilgrim's love story. I highly commend this book to those who've been to Taizé, those who wish to go and even those who've sung a Taizé chant in worship. All will be blessed by this book." (Tony Jones, author of The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life and The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier)

"Jason Brian Santos's introduction quite literally took my breath away. Wow! Santos's description of the rhythms, values, philosophy and theology of the Taizé community should be read by anyone longing to cultivate an authentic Christian community." (Mike King, president of YouthFront, pastor of Jacob's Well Church, Kansas City, and author of Presence-Centered Youth Ministry)

"A very helpful guide to Taizé for thoughtful seekers, especially young people. Animated by the warm and respectful spirit of a fellow traveler, this practical and appreciative introduction can serve as a very good starting point for someone who desires to learn more about the popular Taizé songs and place them in their context, or someone thinking of visiting this unique community." (Elsie McKee, Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship, Princeton Theological Seminary)

More About the Author

Jason Brian Santos is a doctoral candidate (Ph.D.) and a Teaching Fellow in Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary where he was named a Timothy Scholar for research in youth, church and culture. He also holds a Masters of Arts in systematic theology from Wheaton College Graduate School and a Masters of Divinity from Princeton. His research focuses on the spiritual education, formation and discipleship of youth and young adults. Specifically, his dissertation research deals with the integration of monastic practices into congregational life through an adaptation of Benedictine oblation, with the aim of fostering a communal Christian identity and spiritual solidarity in both young people and the local congregation. He is the author of A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation (InterVarsity Press, 2008, forward by Archbishop Desmond Tutu). He speaks both in the US and internationally on topics ranging from youth ministry and popular culture to contemplative spirituality and alternative worship. He currently resides in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife, Shannon, his nine-year-old son, Judah and two exotic hybrid cats.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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And often for good reasons!
Trevin Wax
I enjoyed looking at Taize through the eyes of another American, and think the book is a must-read for anyone interested in the community.
Amanda
I can't wait to plan my first trip to Taizé.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Community Called Taizé is a great resource for any person interested in Taizé or wanting to use the work of Taizé in his or her own congregation. I found the review, of a day in Taizé, to be very insightful to my understanding of not only a day in the community but what the community of Taizé is all about. I am looking forward to sharing this book with anyone interested in Taizé, worship renewal, reconciliation, and ministry in the world today. Santos' thoughts on how the community of Taize's ethos is applicable to the North American Church is needed as we approach ministry in a world of constant change. It was a breath of fresh air, which came at a time most needed. I can't wait to plan my first trip to Taizé.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rad Rev on October 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Someday I would like to go Taize but, as of yet, I have not had the time - or money. This is why I am so thankful to Santos for taking me there through the book. He offers the reader a "day in Taize" and a philosophy of ministry that guides the community's life of prayer. Of particular value is the detailed history of the community - including the eyewitness account of its founders' death - and the community's response. This is a "must-have" resource for anyone considering offering Taize prayers with their church or organization, planning a trip to the community, or planning ecumenical ministry events.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Sterling on May 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
A community called Taize is a wonderful book that gives a perfect detailed description of the experience and background of the community. The book brought back so many memories as if i had actually been there as many times as the author. I was fortunate to be able to spend a week in Taize ,but if i could have read this book before my trip it would have made the trip and experiences that much better. Jason gives a detailed travel plan along with a list of items that would have been beneficial to know before i planned my trip. I will definitely take his advice on my next trip back. Anyone who seeks the memories or plans on visiting Taize, this book is a must.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Hess on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent resource if you are planning a trip to Taize or if you are interested in knowing more about the community. The author paints a detailed picture of what to expect while visiting Taize and also highlights some of the history about the community and the brothers. In a world where there is so much emphasis on consumerism, it is amazing that such a simple community draws thousands of young people to visit there every year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Parker on March 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jason Santos has brought to the mind what it is to walk physically into the Taize community. However, the heart stirs to read about the rhythm of life at Taize. The emotional and spiritual sense of why Taize exists and its purposes have spanned time and test. This is one of the most unique pictures of the Kingdom of God on the planet. Who else is making substantial impact in the youth of post-modern Europe? There is clearly something at Taize that captures the heart of youth and the young at heart worldwide. A radical-ness of relationship, worship and servanthood. I enjoyed learning - as an American-church evangelical practitioner - ways I can learn from the contemplatives and the monastics. In this crazy fast world, we need a sacred place. We have something to learn from the community for the future of the church and the young. This book has moved me and challenged me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William on December 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Taize community is a largely Protestant, but very ecumenical, religeous community in France. It is an amazing example of living out a total commitment to loving and serving God and others. This book gives you insights into its origins, it's continued "success" for 60 years, it's adaptability, and what it is like "on the ground," for the occasional pilgrim and (to a lesser extent) the lifelong Brothers. Taize is best known for its music, but I now understand better why we can't just pop in one of their CD's at a church service once in a while and expect the spiritual transformation and enrichment claimed by pilgrims to Taize. It starts with scriptural based theology, uses practical, but powerful rules-of-life to order the complete commitment of the community, and continually looks for ways to adapt to new situations and to meet challenges, all the while praying and turning everything over to God. While the power and world-wide affect of the Taize experience can't be neatly understood, reading this book will give you a clearer picture of what can happen when people truly let the Holy Spirit lead them, and will probably make you want to visit, as it did me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up because I wanted to learn more about the history of Taize. Santos does a great job explaining the day-to-day life in the community, although I did skim through some parts of that since I've been there. I enjoyed looking at Taize through the eyes of another American, and think the book is a must-read for anyone interested in the community.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Blair on April 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only did this have useful information, it is a delightful read. I've always wanted to go to Taize, and I feel like I've been there!
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