Although the institution of monasticism has existed in the Christian church since the first century, it is often misunderstood. Greg Peters, an expert in monastic studies, reintroduces historic monasticism to the Protestant church, articulating a monastic spirituality for all believers.
As Peters explains, what we have known as monasticism for the past 1,500 years is actually a modified version of the earliest monastic life, which was not necessarily characterized by poverty, chastity, and obedience but rather by one's single-minded focus on God--a single-mindedness rooted in one's baptismal vows and the priesthood of all believers. Peters argues that all monks are Christians, but all Christians are also monks. To be a monk, one must first and foremost be singled-minded toward God. This book presents a theology of monasticism for the whole church, offering a vision of Christian spirituality that brings together important elements of history and practice. The author connects monasticism to movements in contemporary spiritual formation, helping readers understand how monastic practices can be a resource for exploring a robust spiritual life.