Religious Life in the 21st Century: The Prospect of Refounding

Religious Life in the 21st Century: The Prospect of Refounding

by Diarmuid O?Murchu


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This seminal work surveys the historical rise and fall of religious orders and congregations and reveals an unfolding pattern that gives hope for the present and future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626982079
Publisher: Orbis Books
Publication date: 08/18/2016
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 826,024
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

In Grateful Appreciation ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 Revisioning the foundations

Chapter 1 The Evolutionary Context of Religious Life 5

Why an Evolutionary Perspective? 6

Religious Life as an Evolutionary Process 10

Theological Foundations Reconsidered 13

Spirituality and the Vowed Life 15

The Consecrated Life 17

Evolutionary Becoming 18

Study Questions: Revisioning the Foundations 20

Chapter 2 The Parable and the Paradigm 21

Shifting the Paradigm 23

The Notion of Refounding 25

Discerning the Archetype 26

The Communal Dimension 32

A Critique of the Prevailing Paradigm 34

Embracing a New Paradigm with Parabolic Creativity 35

Study Questions 37

Chapter 3 Parable and Paradigm: The Christian Context 39

The Monastic Archetype and the New Reign of God 40

Shifting Allegiance 43

Enter the Prophetic 47

Discernment: Our Primary Task 50

Discernment for Refounding 53

Study Questions 56

Conclusion to Part 1: The Discerning Process 57

Part 2 Reclaiming Our Subverted History

Chapter 4 Parable and Paradigm in the History of Religious Life 61

The Underside of History 62

Toward a New Historical Paradigm 64

Revisiting the Bedrock Inspiration 68

The Apotactic Movement 69

The Male Tradition 73

Returning to the Archetype 76

Study Questions 78

Chapter 5 Overcoming the Monastic-Apostolic Split 79

Structured Monasticism 80

The Mendicant Era 82

Apostolic Zeal 86

Discerning through History 90

Study Questions 91

Chapter 6 The Parable of Paradigmatic Foundresses 93

Historical Precedent 94

The Great Foundresses 96

Reclaiming the Subverted Vision 114

Study Questions 117

Conclusion to Part 2: The Discerning Process 119

Part 3 Religious Life and Value Radiation

Chapter 7 Liminality: The Core Value of Every Paradigm 123

The Liminal Paradigm 124

Liminality and the Vowed Life 126

Witnessing to Liminal Values 128

Liminality and the Prophetic 132

Within the Church and beyond It 134

Liminality and the Task of Refounding 136

Study Guide 138

Chapter 8 Revisioning the Vows in a Refounding Model 139

The Expansive Vision 140

Value Orientation 141

Three Vows 143

Celibate Relatedness 145

Liminal Relatedness 146

Liminality and Contemporary Sexuality 149

Androgenous Liminality 152

Celibacy as an Androgynous Call 154

Celibacy: The Future? 156

Study Guide 158

Chapter 9 Vows for Mutual Empowerment 159

The Vow for Mutual Sustainability (Poverty) 160

The Vow for Mutual Collaboration (Obedience) 164

All the Talk about Leadership 167

Vows for the Future 169

Study Guide 172

Conclusion to Part Three: The Discerning Process 173

Part 4 Revitalization for Refounding

Chapter 10 Community and All It Signifies 177

Community as an Archetypal Value 178

An Alternative Option 181

Communal Discernment 183

Some New Developments 185

Study Guide 197

Chapter 11 The Vitality Curve and the New Paradigm 199

The Foundational Phase 201

The Utopian Flaw 204

The Downward Curve 205

Extinction 208

Revitalization 209

Formation for the Paradigm Shift 213

Study Guide 215

Chapter 12 Refounding Is Possible 217

The Process of Refounding 218

Plow to Discern Our Way to the Future 221

Skilled for Mission 224

Closure without Ending 229

Study Guide 231

Works Cited 233

Index 241

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