A Modern Expression of an Ancient Way
This course looks at New Monasticism in light of traditional monasticism. We use the wisdom of the Desert Mothers and Fathers alongside the wisdom of the Celtic monks as a way to explore what a monastic vocation might look like for people today who live in the world with jobs and families. These early Christian monks lived very harsh lives of asceticism and solitude, but they also discovered a depth of wisdom which has continued to inspire people throughout all of Christian history. The task of new monasticism, in a nutshell, is to separate the wheat from the chaff. While we may not choose the radically difficult life these early monks chose, can we still learn something from them? Can we find a balance between loving ourselves and denying ourselves? Can we accept the radicality of the true gospel while still living in human society?
David Cassian Cole, or Brother Cassian, is the Founder and Executive Director of Waymark Ministries CIC, he is an international Spiritual Teacher and Retreat Leader; he has lectured in Christian & Bible Colleges; has appeared in television documentaries; is an award winning author of 7 books; and is the UK 'Deputy Guardian' for The Community of Aidan and Hilda - a globally dispersed Celtic New Monastic Community. He has been a full time Church Minister and Teaching Pastor in different churches and is qualified in 'Spiritual Care' (holistic care and pastoral counselling); he holds a Masters' degree in 'Christian Spirituality' from Sarum College, writing his thesis on how historic Celtic Christianity can inform New Monastic ideas of Discipleship.
Justin Coutts is a contemplative teacher living on the beautiful and mysterious Manitoulin Island. While his practice is primarily Celtic Christian today his religious life has been very diverse. He spent many years as an apprentice to an Ojibwe elder helping people on vision quests deep in the Canadian wilderness. He was also raised in a traditional rural Quaker community which is still an important part of his contemplative practice. Today, Justin is the author of In Search of a New Eden and is working to find the intersection of these traditions and lineages. Through Celtic Christianity he hopes to bring people closer to the natural world and closer to their own souls – that we all may return to Eden like the Prodigal Son and live once more in harmony with wind and waves, trees and moss, rocks and stars.