Resonance at Rutba: The relevance of New Monasticism for South Africa
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AbstractAs 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 predecessor's 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 movement's 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.