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Steve Taylor on Postmodern Monasteries

Trying to Define the Postmodern Monasteries

Much discussion going on about this. What is the difference between a "monastic" and an "ecclesiastic" model of church?

Aren't monasteries where people go to retreat from life rather than engage?

Is the community in Austin a "monastic" structure at all and who cares?

Regarding the Austin community, and many of the similar communities in the global emerging culture, definition is only needed for the older folk, and not for those having success doing what is working. Traditional minded people want definition and category of what the THING is, so they can then experience it or recommend it. Those already doing it know it works but sometimes cannot say why, or how it is different. And many of them don't really care since explanation, in their world, follows experience rather than precedes it, if indeed it follows at all.

However, as someone committed to the ministry of poetry (creating and re:mixing vobabulary to express experience) and communication between cultures, I really am quite interested in definition, and in naming things lest they be equated with what they are NOT [easy] rather than what they are [harder].

Brad Sargent is one of the Theoblogians who has just moved into the "Austin Urban Monastery" (his words - I wont try to define it lest I get in trouble again with Nathan). He has some good thoughts on trying to name what is going on. In his BeyondPostHuman blog, Brad writes:

. . . and meanwhile, the next wave of shifts in emerging cultures will already have taken place while we wait for the philosophers to produce their next wave of explanations. meanwhile, we, the tribal disciples who are in such emerging cultures, will be two leaps ahead of the rest of the church, because we will already be out there actively producing the cultures that the philosophers will be writing about and the others will be passively waiting to react to/against in the post-post-post-postmodern milieu. oops ... i ranted! 'scuse me!"

Well said, Brad. Reminds me of Lao Tzu:

"When we start to regulate or 'put into order' there will be names.

But when names have indeed come into being,

We must also know that it is time to stop.

Knowing [when] to stop is the way to avoid harm." (Bamboo Slip Laozi, A:10)

Ponder that, Young Lotus!