The New Monastic Movement is a vibrant source of renewal for the church's life and mission. Many involved in this movement have quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer's conviction that the church must recover ancient spiritual disciplines if it is to effectively engage "the powers that be." "Melodies of a New Monasticism" adopts a musical metaphor of polyphony (the combination of two or more lines of music) to articulate the way that these early Christian virtues can be woven together in community.
Creatively using this imagery, this book draws on the theological vision of Bonhoeffer and the contemporary witness of George MacLeod and the Iona Community to explore the interplay between discipleship, doctrine, and ethics.
A recurring theme is the idea of Christ as the cantus firmus (the fixed song) around which people perform the diverse harmonies of God in church and world, including worship, ecumenism, healing, peace, justice, and ecology.
With a foreword by Rowan Williams
Foreword by Rowan Williams xi
Chapter 1: Introduction: The Melodies of George MacLeod and Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Chapter 2: Mixing Metaphors and Making Melodies
Chapter 3: Polyphonic Jesus: Cantus Firmus of Melody Making
Chapter 4: Fragmented Epiphanies
Chapter 5: Worldly Monasticism
Chapter 6: The Colony of Heaven
Chapter 7: Performing the Discipline of Counterpoint
Chapter 8: Making Melodies in the Church: Three Movements
Chapter 9: Making Melodies in the World: Three Movements
Chapter 10: Cadenzas and Conclusions
The Rule of the Iona Community: As It Was until 2014
The Rule of the Iona Community: As It Is from 2015
"This is a work of outstanding originality, a hugely fresh and far-reaching essay on Christian community. . . . Craig Gardiner is someone who will make a serious mark as a theologian of an unusual kind-someone with ample scholarly credentials but able to speak directly into the most pressing concerns of the contemporary church and its ambient society. It is an exhilarating study, whose richness will serve the sharing of the gospel and the vision of the Kingdom in all kinds of ways." -- Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge
"This fine study brings together two outstanding twentieth-century practitioners and theologians of community, its relevance, and its demands for Christianity in a world now tottering, politically and religiously, between authoritarian oppression and fragmenting pluralism. Vital insights emerge on what a new monasticism, of justice and peace no less than prayer, can look like; and thanks to Gardiner's use of Bonhoeffer's metaphor of `polyphony' it is as much artistic as theological, and a pleasure to read." -- Keith Clements, Former General Secretary, Conference of European Churches, author of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ecumenical Quest
"Rejecting both the fallacy of the single, definitive voice and the cacophony of multiple voices reducing all to noise, this book is a profound theological reflection on polyphony grounded in Christ as a creative and active response to the greatest challenge facing Christians, and indeed all people of goodwill: whether and how we can love each other though we are different, and will remain different." -- Kathy Galloway, The Iona Community