Richard Froude wrote in 1833 to John Henry Newman that "the present state of things in England makes an opening for reviving the monastic system." Seemingly original words at the time. Yet, monasticism is one of the most ancient and enduring institutions of the Christian church, reaching its zenith during the High Middle Ages. Although medieval monasteries were regularly suppressed during the Reformation and the magisterial Reformers rejected monastic vows, the existence of monasticism has remained within the Reformation churches, both as an institution and in its theology. This volume is an examination of Protestant theologies of monasticism, examining the thought of select Protestant authors who have argued for the existence of monasticism in the Reformation churches, beginning with Martin Luther and John Calvin and including Conrad Hoyer, John Henry Newman, Karl Barth, and Donald Bloesch. Looking at the contemporary church, the current movement known as the "New Monasticism" is discussed and evaluated in light of Protestant monastic history.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Those interested in the new monasticism in Protestant churches will find in Fr. Peter's book a helpful introduction to the theological underpinnings and historical origins of this movement." --Fr. Luke Dysinger, OSB, St. John's Seminary
"Protestants are generally supposed to view monasticism negatively. Yet those who, like Greg Peters, have actually read Luther and Barth know the truth is not so simple. In this scrupulously researched, theologically rigorous, and elegantly written book, Peters analyzes Protestant reactions to monasticism with a breadth of vision and ecumenical openness typical of a former student of Donald Bloesch. It should become the definitive word in English on Protestantism and monasticism." --Abbot Gregory Collins OSB, Dormition Abbey, Jerusalem
Greg Peters is Associate Professor of Medieval and Spiritual Theology in the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. He is also the Rector of Anglican Church of the Epiphany in La Mirada, CA and a visiting professor of monastic studies at St. John's School of Theology in Collegeville, MN. He is the author of Peter of Damascus: Byzantine Monk and Spiritual Theologian (2009).