Monday, February 09, 2004

postmodern monastery


A while ago I wrote a paper on a postmodern monastery and a number of you asked for a copy. It’s sketchy and dreamy and I want to do more work on it. But you can now download the paper on a postmodern monastery here.

Usual creative commons copyright – you can’t make money from it and if you use it you need to acknowledge the source. Usual rules of courtesy apply – if you download it, email to say thanks and give me some feedback on it, so that I grow as part of the process.

How does that sound?

Posted by steve at 08:55 PM


  1. thanks! I LOVE love love it. Will read again later.
    Have you read Bradley’s Colonies of Heaven?

    Comment by maggi — February 10, 2004 @ 1:35 am

  2. Thanks for the download. I look forward to reading it.

    Comment by David — February 10, 2004 @ 2:15 am

  3. wow! it made me cry…i’m serious. why aren’t we taking technology to the next generation and helping them use it? why aren’t we not only taking it out into the “streets” but teaching our students (and other folks) in our church/communities to use their creativity for the kingdom…? both digitally and otherwise!
    love the thought of sharing these creations all over the planet! l also loved having this all surrounded in the rhythm of prayer…
    thanks for sharing this! and for expanding my vision and my definition of post modern monastery!

    Comment by lillylewin — February 10, 2004 @ 3:13 am

  4. Thanks. I look forward to pondering it, and wondering how it fits with some of the stuff I have been reading about intentional communities.


    Comment by rochelle — February 10, 2004 @ 7:55 am

  5. Thanks. Love the low-budget group creativity piece. Couldn’t agree more with getting those of us with geek-like tendencies out from behind our screens and into real relationships.

    Comment by tkay3 — February 10, 2004 @ 1:53 pm

  6. Steve, thanks for the download. I have been invited to the 2004 Forum on World Evangelization. It’s sponsored by LCWE and will be held in Thailand in late September. My ‘issue group’ is: The realities of Changing Expressions of Church. Your stuff will be a great help in doing my research. I promise to credit you, if I use any of your stuff and would happy to provide a copy of the positional papers when they are complete if you wish.

    Grace and Cigars.

    Comment by Ron Willoughby — February 10, 2004 @ 3:48 pm

  7. Thanks for the donwloaded article. I look forward to reading it and will offer some comments at a later date, but thanks for all the effort. It looks very inspiring!

    Comment by Gary Manders — February 10, 2004 @ 8:44 pm

  8. This is great. I am actually headed for Ethiopia this summer. A place where monasteries flourished in the early centuries of Christianity. One of our goals is to create a space for young people with a monastic feel that also taps into the creativity of this generation. So your paper definitely has some nuggets for me!

    Comment by Ramon — February 11, 2004 @ 11:51 pm

  9. re: urban monastery – been weaving 4 strands of DNA
    I’ve taken from – pauline apostolic tradition: ‘apostles doctrine/break bread/prayers/fellowship’ —

    kinda like a remix: 4 repeating elements – bass/rhythm/pads/hook or melody

    1. creating a culture of learning
    2. a rhythm of prayer – daily/weekly/local geo-hot spots/24/7
    3. a trinity economy
    4. hook or sticky out bit – its amazingly concentrated message…

    a few of us – trying it out on ourselves…

    Comment by paul T — February 12, 2004 @ 3:18 am

  10. just been here to read it again. thanks again

    Comment by maggi — February 19, 2004 @ 1:10 am

  11. Thank you.
    I do agree with you that there is that spam going out of Christian mouths and handouts and e-mail. I received one today that is theologically incorrect and misleading also giving a sense of guilt if you refuse to forward it to others…sad really. However, I do believe that there are those who are authentically called by God to stand up and preach eventho it may be a humiliation and God works throught them! thank God for his diversity and creativity and his amazing power.

    Comment by David — February 19, 2004 @ 10:15 am

  12. Interesting paper. It would be interesting to see a project such as this actually done. It has that quality of being “in” the world but not “of” it that I think is important.

    Comment by Mumcat — February 21, 2004 @ 8:51 am

  13. Thanks for putting thought into this. I like your ideas.

    Were you thinking of this urban monastery as being for an urban poor population, or for average middle class Christian teenagers? If it’s the latter, I could envision big churches going for it. They have the money, and in many cases they also have the equipment and expertise. I’d like to see that happen in a mentoring context, where non-Christian teens could work with Christian adults and teens on projects like this.

    Established churches could also foot the bandwidth bill. My webhosting is $5 a month, but it sure wouldn’t be if 70,000 people were downloading a 20MB video from my site.

    Go with it. I think established churches are well-equipped to do this (at least in the US). They have the technology, the facilities, the money, and the knowhow (how many deacons are IT professionals? Tons!) to get some great models going.

    You may also be interested in Moodle, an open-source learning software developed for online courses. It’s pretty cool, and there’s also a Moodle company to do corporate projects for pay (kind of the “work for the monks to finance their lifestyle” piece).
    Grace and peace,

    Comment by Justin Baeder — February 21, 2004 @ 10:32 am

  14. Fight Club and PoMonasticism

    Well, I’m five years late, but I finally watched Fight Club. Wow. Talk about an intense commentary on modern life.It was actually Spencer Burke’s book Making Sense of Church (which I just finished) that got me interested. He talks about…

    Comment by Radical — February 21, 2004 @ 10:37 am

  15. Fight Club and PoMonasticism

    Well, I’m five years late, but I finally watched Fight Club. Wow. Talk about an intense commentary on modern life.It was actually Spencer Burke’s book Making Sense of Church (which I just finished) that got me interested. He talks about…

    Comment by Radical — February 21, 2004 @ 10:38 am

  16. I LOVE IT. Thanks for making it available. Using it as a discussion paper with friends, and if you don’t mind, add it as a link from my webpage.

    Comment by Jeff — February 23, 2004 @ 2:49 pm

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