On a whim, I typed in “Christian writing revolution” on Mamma.com and found
“The History Guide”: Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History, Lecture 15
“Christianity as a Cultural Revolution”
It is a story of how Christianity grew in the early centuries, largely through monks who supported each other in meditative, creative communities. Sound familiar?
Here’s a quick overview:
* 4th and 5th centuries—Christian thinkers struggle to systematize theology using existing literature.
* 6th century—Monastic movement creates the literature that defines literacy and learning in Rome.
* 7th and 8th centuries—Christian literature leads to the Christianization of Rome.
* 9th and 10th centuries—Monasteries become corrupt by catering to aristocratic interests.
The vision of this modern “Christian writing revolution” is very similar. I think of a modern day writing community like the one Greg Wolfe of Image Journal has proposed called “Still Point” to foster arts and creative writing in an artistic community. Christian university writing programs should ideally be like this (I say “ideally,” because mine was not so much).
But before Christian writing even existed, monasteries led the way by escaping the disorder of their times and writing the literature that would spread the Christian ideals throughout the world. The more we allow the world to influence us, the more our values will shift and we’ll grow unstable. The only way we can do this is through a community that supports each other to live reflective, principled lives according to our calling. That’s the commitment I’m calling for.
The early monasteries are a great study and I need to research it further, but this is the idea that’s taking shape. Let me hear from you about this. What do you envision? The “emergent church,” and “house church” movements across the world, great work like all of you are doing, it’s all a part of the groundswell.