I hope you like the new theme! It reflects a fresh enthusiasm for the topic of this blog, namely: Intentional communities in Africa, monastic spirituality and the so-called ‘new monasticism’.

Two, quite different, posts recently caught my eye:

  • Roger Saner’s experience at Mariya uMama weThemba monastery near Grahamstown.
  • Kevin John Boddecker’s portrayal of Maria Skobtsova as an Orthodox precursor of neo-monasticism. Thanks, Steve.

Roger’s hope for the emerging church as a “desert within the oasis of life” (Pete Rollins) raises the intriguing issue of overlap between monasticism and post-modern expressions of Church.

The second article explores how Maria reinterpreted the traditional vows of chastity, obedience and poverty in the context of early 20th-century Europe. Especially interesting is her take on ‘non-possession’.

Best wishes for 2008.

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