From Publishers Weekly
It's a vision so old it looks new, writes Wilson-Hartgrove, a 20-something North Carolina pastor who is part of New Monasticism.New Monastics, he says, are a loosely confederated group of Christians who choose to live in intentional communities, often in blighted areas.It's age-old monasticism, but with new twists: some practitioners are celibate singles, but many others are married with children; some communities hold all goods in common and pool their economic resources, while others retain individual ownership.The book's more coherent and invigorating second half explores the marks of New Monasticism, including geographic relocation, redistribution of wealth, ecumenism, peacemaking and submission to the church.These chapters, which offer a treasure trove of concrete examples and stories of real communities that practice these values, eclipse the book's unfocused first half, which mires down in broad descriptions of American Christianity's complex problems and an obligatory dose of monastic history.Readers who are serious about putting New Monastic ideas into practice may want to skip the first 75 pages in favor of life-changing practices like relational tithing (maintaining no more than one degree of separation between the giver of charity and its receiver).(May)
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From the Back Cover
"It's hard to be a Christian in America," writes Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, a leader in the new monasticism movement, a growing group of committed Christians who are living lives of radical discipleship and unearthing a fresh expression of Christianity. He takes readers inside new monasticism, tracing its roots through scripture and history and illuminating its impact on the contemporary church.
"It is my sincere hope that new monasticism will grow so strong and healthy and widespread that every follower of Jesus in every church has the opportunity, if not to actually live in a new monastic community, to at least have enough proximity and relationship to be influenced by it. This book can help that dream and prayer come true."--Brian McLaren
, author of Everything Must Change
"This is the most informative work to date on its subject. Written in fluid, accessible prose and without pretense, it is also rich in personal and historical insights. The result is a book that is both beguiling and highly credible."--Phyllis Tickle
, author of The Divine Hours
"This book demonstrates how embracing the lifestyle prescribed by Jesus is a realistic possibility in our present age. It also shows how countercultural Christianity can provide a needed critique of our self-centered, consumerist society."--Tony Campolo
, Eastern University
"This book is a scavenger hunt into Christian history and the abandoned places of Empire where the Spirit is stirring today. It's like digging around in the dirt trying to find the pearl we buried, the pearl that is so beautiful it's worth giving up everything else in the world for."--Shane Claiborne
, author of The Irresistible Revolution
"Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is bringing things both old and new out of the great Christian storehouse! New monasticism is discovering what is always rediscovered--and always bears great life for the gospel."--Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM
, Center for Action and Contemplation