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James Ponzetti, Jr.

Abstract

The search for authentic Christian community in modern society was evident in the resurgence of countless lifestyles movements such as ‘new monasticism’.  Monastic practices in the Catholic Church were credibly the earliest and most enduring renewal movement. Given that the ‘new monastic’ movement attempts to imitate conventional monasticism, it was essential to comprehend the latter in order to ascertain the accomplishment of the former.  The purpose of this article was threefold.  First, the forms of communal life recognized as an integral part of Catholic Christianity were described to sketch the historical context and forms of the Christian community.  Second, conventional monasticism was reviewed as a framework for sustainable community life.  Finally, the advent of ‘new monasticism’ as a contemporary Christian lifestyles movement was explored.  The ‘new monastic’ movement was an ardent effort of numerous faithbased communities that employ monastic practices as a model for active Christian ministry. 
 
Key words:  Renewal movements, Religious communities, Catholic monasteries, New Monasticism

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