The ‘Greening’ of Christian Monasticism and the Future of Monastic Landscapes in North America

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Brown, J.M. The ‘Greening’ of Christian Monasticism and the Future of Monastic Landscapes in North America. Religions 2019, 10, 432. DOI: 10.3390/rel10070432

Date created: 
2019-07-16
Keywords: 
Religion and ecology
Spiritual ecology
Greening of religion
Environmental humanities
Monasticism
History of monasticism
Landscape
Abstract: 

Christian monasticism has an ancient land-based foundation. The desert fathers and later reform movements appealed to the land for sustenance, spiritual metaphor, and as a marker of authentic monastic identity. Contemporary Roman Catholic monastics with this history in mind, have actively engaged environmental discourse in ways that draw from their respective monastic lineages, a process sociologist Stephen Ellingson calls ‘bridging’. Though this study is of limited scope, this bridging between monastic lineages and environmental discourse could cautiously be identified with the broader phenomenon of the ‘greening’ of Christianity. Looking to the future, while the footprint of North American monastic communities is quite small, and their numbers are slowly declining, a variety of conservation-minded management schemes implemented since the 1990s by some communities suggests that the impact will remain for many decades to come.

Language: 
English
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Article
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