- Stephen J. Davis
After serious decline from the 16th to 19th centuries, the 20th and 21st centuries have witnessed the flourishing of monastic practice worldwide. ‘A global phenomenon in the contemporary world’ considers what might explain this unexpected renaissance, and also asks what difference monasticism makes in modern times. It looks at the relationship between religion, nation, and identity and also modern hybrid monasticisms that have developed through four case studies: Scientology, Taizé and the so-called New Monasticism, certain kinds of ‘interspiritual’ monastic practice, and the Art Monastery Project. Monasticism has sometimes been radically redefined and adapted to the modern world, but these new forms of monastic practice continue to engage in ritualized acts of social differentiation.