Resonance at Rutba: The relevance of New Monasticism for South Africa

Carl I Brook


As secularism entrenches itself in a still-new South Africa, alternative ecclesial forms
will continue to spark interest among people looking for renewal within and without
the church. The promise of one such form, the new monasticism, merits study not
only because of its predecessors responses under historical empires but also due to
its present moment under the Empire of state capitalism.
Following some discussions on context, the article explores the movement from a
missional perspective: its Anabaptist antecedents, its lay-monastic heritage and North
American origin. Two concrete examples are described, with cultural commentary. The
remainder of the article questions the movements relevance for South Africa,
evaluating some of the conditions conducive to its local establishment. Despite a
negative assessment hope is nonetheless held out for intentional Christian
communities, primarily in respect of their visibility

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