It was Alan Andrews iconic image, Internal Émigré (1986) which was the beginning of a language for the new type of monasticism we had been living and learning since 1978.
‘The renewal of the church will come from a new type of monasticism which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time men and women banded together to do this’
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a letter to his brother
(Paraphrased John T.Skinner 1980)
In that same year (1986) John Skinner presented an ‘Introduction to a New Type of Monasticism’ to David Jenkins the then Bishop of Durham UK in an attempt to get New Monasticism nurtured alongside the Anglican Communion. Bishop David said he believed the ‘desert’ was the first place for the nurturing of New Monasticism not the Church.
In 1991 John Skinner, Roy Searle and Andy Raine organized and led a series of lectures in Northumbria UK called Internal Émigrés. This was in preparation for the foundation of the Northumbria Community, and included Skinner’s first public lectures on Bonhoeffer’s New Type of Monasticism.
Since 1992 the Northumbria Community has been a ‘living example’ of a new type of monasticism that has inspired and supported countless individuals and communities to embrace or acknowledge this authentic vocation.
In 1994 John Skinner and Andy Raine agreed to the publication of their Northumbrian Office as: Celtic Daily Prayer (Harper Collins 1994) followed by Celtic Night Prayer (Harper Collins 1996) This introduced a new type of monasticism to an international audience.
In 2004 John and Linda Skinner moved to Ephesus in Turkey to establish SNM School(s) of New Monasticism providing a hands on lived experience of Bonhoeffers new monastic praxis to groups of young people in a cross cultural environment.
Also in 2004 a new monastic movement emerged in the USA with the publication of ‘12 Marks of New Monasticism’ since then, this new monastic movement has gained a momentum and a popularity that has captured the imagination of young people in many places. Since 2004 there has been a proliferation in the growth and emergence of a wide variety of new monastic communities and thinking, mostly influenced by Bonhoeffers NTM (Europe) or MacIntyre’s call for a new St. Benedict (New Monastics USA)
Since 2009 our SNM School of New Monasticism has concentrated on bringing back Bonhoeffer’s malignant New type of Monasticism to expose the new monasticism (s) to their radical and disturbing beginnings. Working closely with the non-church collective we are bringing Bonhoeffers radical perspectives back into the conversation between theology-philosophy-psychoanalysis. Our first live streamed SNM school kicks off on October 13th 2015 from our online academy via the Wiz-It online platform. We plan to create a number of courses, conversations and events that contribute to the political/theological/philosophical/psychoanalytical discourse for change and provide space for both academic and ordinary people to contribute.
In 2016 we are looking for a collaboration between new monasticism and the non-church to support unintentional communities of those dislocated and dispossessed from their former beliefs, religious or otherwise, and reboot as collectives for political and personal transformation.