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Community of the Transfiguration: The Journey of a New Monastic Community [Paperback]

By Paul Dekar (Author)
Our Price $ 31.45  
Retail Value $ 37.00  
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Item Number 91479  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   188
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.12" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 31, 2008
Publisher   Lutterworth Press
ISBN  0718891821  
EAN  9780718891824  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
IN THE 1930s, German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer anticipated the restoration of the church after the coming Second World War through a new monasticism, a way of life of uncompromising adherence to the Sermon on the Mount in imitation of Christ. Since then, the renewal of Christian monasticism has become a great spiritual movement. Imbued with a love for God and neighbour, and with healthy self-love, people visit monasteries to deepen their relationship with God, to pray, and to ?nd peace. Some monastic institutions are suffering a decline in vocations, but many Christians are exploring monastic lifestyles. This book introduces the Community of the Trans?guration in Australia, a new monastic community and an inspiring source of hope for the world at another time of spiritual, social, and ecological crisis. "The Community of the Trans?guration at Breakwater, Victoria, is a hidden and unexpected gem in the contemporary Australian Christian scene. Quietly but purposefully it has grown over the past 25 years into a vibrant, Spirit-?lled community standing in the great tradition of Christian monasticism. What is unexpected but exciting is that this community is ?rmly grounded in and embraced by the Baptist Church while at the same time being thoroughly ecumenical. Paul Dekar's book is a most timely contextualization of and tribute to the community." - The Rt. Rev. Andrew St. John, DD, Rector, the Church of the Trans?guration, New York, and Assisting Bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of New York "Western civilization was cradled by the monastic movements of the Middle Ages, and many of the discoveries of modern science have their roots in monastic gardens and in?rmaries. Paul Dekar gives a glimpse into a Christian movement of our time that promises to provide new energies, from the heart of evangelical Christianity, to enliven the monastic ideal, and provide a unique Christian witness to the world. Intentional Christianity, a more intense form of belief and practice, provides all Christians, and indeed all persons, with a window into the possibilities of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the prospect of a world remade." - Brother Jeffrey Gros, FSC, Memphis Theological Seminary PAUL R. DEKAR is Niswonger Professor of Evangelism and Missions at Memphis Theological Seminary. He is the author of Creating the Beloved Community: A History of the Fellowship of Reconciliation in the United States (2005) and Holy Boldness: Practices of an Evangelistic Lifestyle (2004). Paul and his wife, Nancy, are North American members of Holy Trans?guration Monastery in Australia.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Is the author biased?  Jul 13, 2009
This book has many historical gaps in the formation life of the community. It does not mention the many members who left. How does this community treat all the un-named members who left? What effect did this have on the ex-monks? Did the author ask the hard questions?
Readable, Entertaining, Moving  Apr 2, 2008
In this book Paul Dakar has produced a very readable, entertaining and at times moving account of the growth and development of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Victoria Australia.

He tells the story of how this small group of people has grown over the past thirty-five years from a small interest group within the congregation at Breakwater Baptist Church to become the Community of the Transfiguration, and how this small group of people has been transformed by a profound commitment to a life of prayer. In the process they have transformed the local church and profoundly influenced the spiritual life of the Baptist denomination in Victoria.

The first chapter provides a context by surveying the role of Monasticism in the history of the church and the development of the `New Monasticism' movement, particularly within the protestant churches in the USA since World War II.

In chapter two we have a very succinct history of the development of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (HTM).

Chapter three outlines the practices of the community. It illustrates how the community tries to replant and nurture monastic life in our materialistic, exploitative and individualistic society. It also shows how the monastery bridges past and contemporary forms of monasticism, and makes links with communities in other denominations, for example Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Church traditions. The chapter describes the rhythms of prayer and silence, work and play that nurture the wellbeing of the members and then discusses the practices adopted for the common good. How does the community deal with issues such as sexuality and celibacy in a community of married and single people? What is the place of children in the community? How does the community deal with money, holidays, criticism etc?

Chapter four is to me the most compelling for here Dekar discusses the theology of the `Resolve' of the community.

The resolve is at the heart of community life and consists of a list of ten theological statements that all members seek to embody.

For example the first is a statement of gratitude
`Being perfectly assured of your salvation
With your whole life proclaim your gratitude'

While the last is a statement on humility
`For us there is only the trying
The rest is none of our business.'

In the final chapter Dekar discusses the significance of this `New Monastic' movement and outlines some of his personal journey.

An appendix provides a sample of the prayers produced by the community.

This little book is very well written and tells a powerful story. The text uses well-chosen anecdotes to demonstrate how God is using this community not only to transform the lives of its members but also to have a significant influence well beyond its walls.

A selection of photographs of the monastery, as it existed at the Breakwater site, gives some idea of the life the community had developed. As that property has now been sold I look forward to seeing how communal life will be nurtured while the members are scattered in various households around Geelong. Also it will be fascinating to see what will develop, as the new premises are built and communal life is restored.

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