Monastic Futures - Contemporary Culture I

1,688 views
1,596 views

Published on

First of two presentations given at the Benedictine Renewal Program at Mount St. Benedict, Crookston Minnesota. Focus on the social and cultural context of modern monastic life.

Published in: Spiritual
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,688
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
135
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Yesterday, Sister Jeanne mentioned that she and I were both interested, at first, in working with this topic about the future of monastic life – and that is certainly true; and I was very glad when she was willing to tackle the topic of the Turbulent 60s and 70s.Actually, I was doubly glad, because it also allowed me to hear her presentation. You see, it wasn’t only that I thought the future was an interesting topic: it was that I was truly incompetent to have much to say about the 1960s and 1970s. It’s not only that I was a child at the beginning of that time period, nor that instead of Benedictine community I was a shy student at a free-wheeling non-denominational college in the 1970s. No: it’s that I had no religious training and wasn’t even baptized until my senior year in college.So I could not say a lot about how American culture changed during the 60s and 70s from experience – I was too young to know much. Even though I’ve been Catholic for more than 30 years, I’m about as old as you can get and still have no experience of the pre-Vatican II Church. For me, the Mass has always been in English, Catholics always read the Bible, there have always been Parish Councils and lay pastoral ministers, there have always been vehement arguments about liturgy, sisters always had last names, wore street clothes and marched in protests. And the Church has always been turbulent.I’m about as old as you could be and still be a post-Vatican II Catholic. This leaves me with very little to say about the 60s and 70s, but perhaps gives me a different approach and perspective to looking at the future. I hope so.A word about how I’ve organized these two presentations. The first part is quite sociological – I even brought SEVERAL graphs and charts – to really probe the possible directions for future life in America. I find the ideas fascinating, and hope you do too.The second part, after the break, brings the focus back around to monastic life: what it might be like for monastic women, and what monasticism has to offer the world and the culture of the future.
  • It’s a bit daunting to talk about the future. There’s a big danger of projecting the world one would like to see, or one fears will happen, and calling it a prediction. The result may sound more intellectual, but it’s not too far different from using a crystal ball.Even when the image in a crystal ball is quite clear, it still may not match the reality that unfolds. In fact, even the methods of social science are far from perfect. The ideas I’ll present this morning are grounded in solid data, but scholars do disagree regularly about their interpretation.There are two kinds of forces that help us think about the future, and it’s important to separate them. The first looks at structures or forces that we can see in the present that will constrain the future.Just as we can understand the present in terms of things we did, or did not, do in the past, so some aspects of the future are already determined. (Money in the bank. Education. Hubble.) Some of these factors escape notice because they are so common place.
  • The other predictions are the ones we usually hear: that the trends of the recent past will continue into the future. It’s common sense to think this way, especially in this information age when we are surrounded with data, and with experts who will give us believable and sophisticated analyses.These predictions, though, are risky. We often know much more about the direction of a pattern than why it exists, and what keeps the pattern going. If we don’t know why it exists, we have no way of knowing how long it will continue, or what would indicate that it’s about to change.We’ve experienced this several times, dramatically, in the last decade:Major terrorist acts would never occur on American soilThe American economy is solid, the rock on which world economies can depend.Americans will never seriously consider a woman or a person of color for president.In the histories of our monasteries, we have also experienced thisTimes of great growth in membership, in spiritual vitality, in wealthSudden changes of civil government (England, France, Germany, Mexico) which threaten our existenceChanges within the Church which, at least for a time, change the number of people entering and leaving monastic life
  • Another important thing to remember in talking about the future is that the vista we see in front of us will depend on where we stand. Human beings naturally tend to think of their own future: what will happen to people like us, to the ministries and institutions we have been part of? This refers, of course, to whether our view of the future gives us a sense of hope or of anxiety. But some parts of society, of the Church, of our monasteries will be salient and important to us – and others nearly invisible – because of our location in society.In the United States, the majority of members of Benedictine communities have been active in education, health care, parish work, and more recently in a variety of other ministries. Our thoughts about the future often include those ministries – whether our communities are still engaged in them or not – often with questions about their continuation with lay people at the head.The stories of the early days of our monasteries are usually filled with tales of extremely hard work, bitter climate, constant financial worries. For most of us, though, it’s been a very long time – if ever – since we had to go to work without adequate food or clothing, or leave our buildings unheated, or completely avoid medical care because we can’t pay for it. When we look at the future, and think about how to reclaim and renew our spirituality as monastic, we will be shaped by that perspective. What we take for granted, what we are concerned about, and the shape our dreams will be different…
  • …from those of Benedictine women from other parts of the world. Through AIM, we have grown in awareness of their concerns and dreams. While they, too, may be involved in education or health care, parish work and catechesis, their concerns are different. When they wonder about the future, it is often in terms of funding and resources to bring basic amenities to their monasteries:Electricity and waterBetter agricultural techniquesEducation through high school for most of the sistersProfessional or college educationTheological and biblical studiesWe share a common Benedictine spirituality, but the ways in which we live it, understand it, and hope for its growth are very different. We are different, too, from some Benedictines in America and many in Europe, whose path through the turbulent 60s and 70s was different from ours…
  • …our lives and ministries and spirituality may be more like some Dominicans or Franciscans than some of our Benedictine sisters. Yet when we move past the labels and external differences, there is a common Benedictine spirituality uniting us, as the sisters involved in the CIB have found out. The cloistered or contemplative communities experience the same general societal forces, but from a somewhat different stance. As we move into considering monastic life in America, then, we need to keep in mind that these, and many other, perspectives exist.In the first presentation this morning, I will look at three forces that are shaping America’s future, considering their impact on monasteries as we go. These are the kind of structural forces that give us moderate confidence in our predictions about our shifting culture.In the second presentation, I will explore some of the paths that the culture monastic life may take – both in response to the structural shifts and as a result of trends that are visible now and MIGHT continue into the future.
  • There are three major forces that are shaping the world in which our 21st century monastic life will be lived: demography, economy, and culture.We’ve been termed an “aging society” because the proportion of Americans who are classified as “elderly” is growing rapidly. We usually assume this is because of medical advances, but when we look closely, a declining birth rate really has more influence. When we look for the reasons for the declining birth rates, we find major changes in family life and work life. All of these will have an impact on our monasteries.The last 10 or 20 years were, for some in the Western world, the time of the greatest material prosperity ever known to humankind. The prosperity itself generated a spiritual and cultural malaise often termed “affluenza” which we seemed powerless to stop. Meanwhile it was wreaking havoc on the world’s environment. While we had a cultural image of prosperity, in reality the gap between the rich and everyone else widened to levels not seen in a century.America viewed itself as a melting pot, but was really a nation of enclaves – look at the 4 Catholic parishes in one small town, each for a different ethnicity. In the 21st century we have BOTH greater mixing of identity groups AND greater sense of separation based on identity. Modernity brought about a certain rationalized way of interacting which may be giving way to “post-modern” constructed identities. In the 20th century, America became a dominant nation. In the 21st century, America has to discover that she is not the only nation.
  • When we think of an aging society, naturally we think it means people getting older. And it does, because of many advanced in medicine, in product and policy safety, and because we’re better at taking care of ourselves.On the one hand, this is a benefit. In Colonial America, only a very few lived to see their grandchildren, and few people had many memories of their grandparents. Now that’s a strong bond.Aging raises new questions: what do you do when you don’t work? (This is never a question in the monastery)Many people find they don’t know who they are when they leave their jobs. Planning for retirement is an emotional and spiritual task as much as a financial one.
  • There’s more to the picture of an aging society that just people getting old.The aging society refers to the proportion of all the society that is made up of old people. Two things contribute to that: how long people live, and how many other people there are.A second trend, that we don’t hear so much about, is the main accelerant in the aging of western societies: a big reduction in the number of children who are born. This pattern has occurred more quickly in Europe. In 2005, these trends crossed: There are more people in Europe who are over 65 than there are children under 14. Strangely enough, this does not (yet) mean that the total number of people is shrinking.
  • This year or the next is the peak year for 18 year olds graduating from high school; there will be fewer kids turning 18 for every year after that – at least for the next 18 years, because those future 18 years olds would have to be born already. (This is not one of those TREND projections, but a real one: there’s no way to suddenly get more 10 year olds…)Meanwhile, all of us Baby Boomers are getting old – you can tell because all of a sudden, it’s easy to find fashionable canes, bifocals that look cool and psychedelic, and miracle creams to remove our wrinkles. (Twenty years ago, when Baby Boomers were having kids, they invented to minivan to take care of us). There are lots and lots of Boomers, and we intend to do everything we can to live for a very long time, if not forever. Twenty years from now – when I’ll be closer to 80 than to 70 – the young people are going to have to do all the jobs to keep society going, earn the money to pay for our pensions and care, and, somehow, have lives of their own – and raise the next generation. And there are not going to be so many of them to do that.Why not?
  • There’s a pattern that’s been seen in all the countries that have gone through industrialization – mostly in the West but also Japan – and which is underway in the countries that are in the midst of developing, like Brazil or China, or even – surprising – Bangladesh. Most of human history – millions of years – was like the first phase: a high and stable number of babies were born, and the death rate was high, but it fluctuated with diseases and wars. For the first several million years of human life, population grew hardly at all. Industrialization lowered the death rate quickly. This was largely due to having more food and, once germs were discovered, basic sanitation. People kept having many babies, but more of them grew to be adults and had children of their own. The population grew rapidly.People stopped having so many children – long before latex was discovered or modern contraception invented. Girls stayed in school longer and married later. Work hours were long and demanding – people had less time. A child was not a help on the farm but a mouth to feed. Contraception and abortion accelerated the pattern. Even so, the population still grew rapidly – more children were surviving and each of them having children of their own.The theory – people always draw it on the graphs but no one knows for sure what will happen – is that birth rates and death rates will find a new stable point, where people live about as long as the human body will last, and birth rates will fluctuate a little. According to the theory, this is where the developed nations should be now.
  • Recently, many of the best family sociologists and demographers have noticed that the trend line for births didn’t level off – it kept going down, even when the birth rate fell below the replacement rate. In fact, it’s been below replacement in Europe for decades – as low as 1.1 children per woman in Spain and Italy.In Russia, several cities celebrate “conception day” – young workers are given the day off without pay, they put on a huge rock concert or festival, there is lots of food and especially alcohol, and usual norms about public behavior are relaxed. They declare it a success when the maternity wards are crowded nine months later. All the countries of Western Europe provide child allowances – money paid to parents to offset some of the costs of raising a child – as well as health care, lengthy paid leaves for new parents, and free or highly subsidized day care. In the U.S., birth rates vary widely among different groups of people. People who immigrate to the U.S. have the highest birth rates. When only native-born citizens are considered, the U.S. birth rate is also below replacement. This below-replacement rate situation has happened in the past, although not for a whole society. The birth rate among the ruling class of ancient Rome also dropped precipitously – contributing to the eventual fall of the empire. Celibacy was outlawed or strongly discouraged. Our many stories of virgin martyrs involve a family forcing marriage and the daughter resisting. This was not just a parent who wanted to cuddle a grandchild: it was the elite classes trying desperately to produce enough children to run their large estates, to fill leadership roles in the army, and to maintain the government. Economists and sociologists who have begun to study this situation call it “Demographic Winter” – many of these graphs are from the video of that name.
  • The source of the Aging Society is clear when you look at a 1-child per couple diagram. The couple in the 3rd generation have to do the work to keep society running for their 8 frail grandparents and their 4 about-to-retire parents – and pay enough taxes to cover their pensions and medical care – while still keeping a roof over their head and saving for the college education of their one child.In this scenario, it might be impossible for them to consider another child – taxes are high, work hours are long and demanding, and there isn’t much time for child care.
  • We already see some effects of the aging society in our communities, but we tend to think of them in terms of a low level of vocations or of the sisters who left in the last few decades.At our house, sisters say they are “recycled” – they are generous and dedicated in doing all that they can for as long as they can. An only daughter, or an unmarried daughter, may be less free to consider religious life: she and her parents may expect that she will provide care for them as they age.Even if religious life is 100% as attractive as it was in the past, if there are fewer young people in the world, there will be fewer young people entering religious life. To have the same NUMBER of vocations, a higher proportion have to be drawn to religious life. As the stories of “conception day” in Russia and Sweden’s strong pro-child policies already hint, celibacy may become suspect as a life style.
  • Where did all the children go? That’s a long story; these are just a few points.Some would be quick to point to the advent of legal medical abortion. While that makes it more likely that someone who wants to terminate a pregnancy will do so, it does nothing to explain why so many women and men want to abort the child they conceived. Some of the reasons are unintended – the age at which people get married has increased, to 25 for women and 27 for men. They begin their families with fewer years in which to have children, and past the peak of fertility.Contraception – designed as “family planning” to space children – had the effect of separating sexuality from the bonds of marriage and family. While the studies show that married couples have the happiest sex lives, you’d never know it from the entertainment industry or advertisements, which highlight every other kind of sexual encounter EXCEPT marriage. Divorced and cohabiting people tend to have fewer childrenWomen are pursuing professional careers at a higher rate than ever before – they are now more than half of all college students in the country. Not only do they marry later, but many employers and policies make it very hard to be a mom, especially of small children. The focus on self-actualization – “being all I can be” – and individualism, to be free to follow one’s dream – is in direct conflict with commitment for 18 or more years. While it’s usually men who are labeled as “scared to commit” the pattern is seen in women too.Kids cost a lot of money – about $10,000 in the first year, and as much as $14,000 a year for a teenager in a middle income family. Having run up debts – or desiring – a lot of material goods, people feel they can’t “afford” a child.Which brings us to Economic changes – a topic that I’ll cover more quickly because more people are aware of it.
  • “More” is a national disease. We have it in the monastery. One sister said, “We used to have to turn in a list of everything we had in our room at the beginning of Lent, and we’d get it back with items crossed off. We don’t do it anymore because it would take some of us all of Lent to make the list.Lust for items – greed – is an afflictive thought older than Christianity, and its destructive force on the spiritual life, on all sorts of relationships, on families has been well documented.The inner dynamic of industrial society, though, is producing more with less. Early industrialization made it possible for more people – poorer people – to have food and items once reserved for the rich. When the standard of living had been raised, though, there was a choice:Work fewer hours to produce the same amount of stuff, and have more leisureWork the same amount of time to produce more stuff, and have more stuffWe opted for the latter – there are dozens of analyses why. More types of stuff had to be invented. They had to be made obsolete so that we would buy other new stuff – fashion speeded up. The cycle of Affluenza began.
  • Early in the 20th century – 100 years ago – sociologists were already studying the ways in which the upper classes used consumption and fashion to mark their status; they gained identity by what they owned.As mass production made similar goods available to middle and lower classes, the upper classes have to constantly find new and expensive things to mark themselves out. And the cycle continues, leading to ….
  • … all sorts of old stuff which has to be discarded. And the containers of old stuff. We organize large networks to move stuff around the country, to be able to eat strawberries in Duluth in December.We know a lot about the problems of the environment. Our monasteries are sometimes in the forefront of efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and simplify. But we participate in the nation’s economy – we can’t buy products that allow us to participate in modern life without getting the packaging, the constant pressure to upgrade, and – yes, it’s true – even the clothes that friends or family give us so we don’t look “so dowdy” mean that fashion comes to the monastery too.
  • Affluenza afflicts an entire society, but only a thin layer at the top can indulge it to their hearts content. This is not a new pattern, as this ancient Sumerian art piece demonstrates. Jesus showed concern for the poor, and praised a widow’s gift of two coins over a rich man’s huge donation. While there have been rich and poor in every society, the size of the gap between them is not always the same.
  • When we think about the future of our culture, and of our monasteries within this culture, we often feel as though we are living a pretty simple life. When we look at the data, though, we find that the bottom is further down, and better populated, than we believed. The teardrop chart on the left shows this.The working poor and the “underclass” make up 25% of our nation – one person in four.The working class are another 30%. So 55% of Americans have less than a “middle class” lifestyle. So much for “middle”The lifestyle shown on TV – the professionals in two-income families – is often more like that of the upper middle class, costing more than 85% of the country can afford. The trend over time – the chart on the right – shows that the bottom half of the people have really not had their incomes grow since 1960 – the growth has been in the upper half, and especially the top 5% (that red line that began its sharp ascent in 1980). The monasteries of the Middle Ages involved not only a Scriptorium for the educated but farms and stables and crafts shops – there were roles and welcome for people with a variety of backgrounds. Our older sisters include not only nurses and teachers, but cooks, housekeepers, secretaries, and a variety of other roles. Some have suggested that monastic life has become so middle-class in its ministries that it is hard for a working class person to see how she would contribute. If that’s true, how will the monastery of the future bridge that gap?How will the monastery of the future express our desire for solidarity with the poor in ways that visible and meaningful?
  • The post modern approach calls everything into question without providing any way of discerning its value. While we hear about it in the news regarding works of art, this view subtly infiltrates much of modern life.The argument about “what constitutes torture” and whether torture might be considered appropriate if it yielded useful information, otherwise not, is the sort of thing that arises from a post-modern perspective.
  • Our old world was divided up by groups that were, for the most part, homogeneous. We lived in neighborhoods, worshipped with, and associated with people who were similar in race, social class, ethnicity – think of the small towns with 4 parishes where the Mass was celebrated in Latin for people who spoke Polish, Italian, French, or English elsewhere. That is much less true now, even in many small towns. The people with a different race, ethnicity, or social class may be our neighbors, our colleagues, or a member of our family. We become a people of multiple identities – sometimes within one category (what “race” is Tiger Woods?). We all have identities in different realms, often with conflicting or paradoxical roles. We switch between them - Benedictine, employee, patient, sister-in-law, woman, American – but our sense of self can become fragmented.
  • Yesterday, Sister Jeanne mentioned that she and I were both interested, at first, in working with this topic about the future of monastic life – and that is certainly true; and I was very glad when she was willing to tackle the topic of the Turbulent 60s and 70s.Actually, I was doubly glad, because it also allowed me to hear her presentation. You see, it wasn’t only that I thought the future was an interesting topic: it was that I was truly incompetent to have much to say about the 1960s and 1970s. It’s not only that I was a child at the beginning of that time period, nor that instead of Benedictine community I was a shy student at a free-wheeling non-denominational college in the 1970s. No: it’s that I had no religious training and wasn’t even baptized until my senior year in college.So I could not say a lot about how American culture changed during the 60s and 70s from experience – I was too young to know much. Even though I’ve been Catholic for more than 30 years, I’m about as old as you can get and still have no experience of the pre-Vatican II Church. For me, the Mass has always been in English, Catholics always read the Bible, there have always been Parish Councils and lay pastoral ministers, there have always been vehement arguments about liturgy, sisters always had last names, wore street clothes and marched in protests. And the Church has always been turbulent.I’m about as old as you could be and still be a post-Vatican II Catholic. This leaves me with very little to say about the 60s and 70s, but perhaps gives me a different approach and perspective to looking at the future. I hope so.A word about how I’ve organized these two presentations. The first part is quite sociological – I even brought SEVERAL graphs and charts – to really probe the possible directions for future life in America. I find the ideas fascinating, and hope you do too.The second part, after the break, brings the focus back around to monastic life: what it might be like for monastic women, and what monasticism has to offer the world and the culture of the future.
  • Monastic Futures - Contemporary Culture I

    1. 1. Culture Shift:The Shape of Monastic Life in the Future<br />Sister Edith Bogue<br />Benedictine Renewal Program<br />Mount St. Benedict Monastery<br />Crookston, Minnesota<br />16 June 2011<br />
    2. 2. How do we begin to look into the future?<br />2<br />The Whole World in a Crystal Ball by xollob58 at http://www.flickr.com/photos/xollob58/474392091/<br />
    3. 3. 3<br />Trends as predictors of the future<br />Data is plentiful<br />Analysis is sophisticated<br />How can we find the patterns?<br />What gives us confidence that it will continue?<br />
    4. 4. 4<br />Even our view of monastic life now depends on where we are when we look…<br />We might see things one way from a monastery descendedfrom Mother Benedicta Riepp’s lineageor the other sisters who cameto teach or nurse in the late 1800s… <br />
    5. 5. 5<br />Even our view of monastic life now depends on where we are when we look…<br />… but quite differently from a monastery founded by the Missionary Benedictines in rural Africa … <br />Sisters Susana, Imane, and Presentasia are thrilled with the new dam that brings electricity to their monastery in Chipole, Tanzania<br />Photo by S. Mary Agnes Patterson of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, KS <br />
    6. 6. 6<br />Even our view of monastic life now depends on where we are when we look…<br />… and still differently from the other monasteries in America founded from Eichstätt and other European abbeys in the 20th century.<br />Sisters measuring rain water near the garden at the Abbey of St. Walburga, Virginia Dale, CO.<br />
    7. 7. <ul><li>Demographic changes
    8. 8. Aging society
    9. 9. Decreasing birth rate
    10. 10. Family life and work
    11. 11. Economic changes
    12. 12. Affluenza
    13. 13. Environmental degradation
    14. 14. Inequality
    15. 15. Cultural changes
    16. 16. Modernity & Post-modernity
    17. 17. Pluralism and diversity
    18. 18. Global perspective</li></ul>7<br />Three forces shaping the future culture<br />Our Lady of NovyDur, Czech Republic. Photo by John Pawson<br />
    19. 19. Demographic Change<br />
    20. 20. Reasons for aging that most people know<br />Better medical care: people live longer<br />Greater safety (highway, work, homes)<br />More knowledge about health<br />Effects of an aging society<br />Greater access to wisdom and experience<br />More people in retirement <br />Dependency – society or families or individuals must provide for the care of the frailest of the elderly<br />9<br />AGING SOCIETY & COMMUNITY<br />
    21. 21. Aging societies in the West: Europe<br />10<br />
    22. 22. Aging society: America<br />11<br />
    23. 23. 12<br />Demographic Transition<br />THIS IS UNKNOWN<br />
    24. 24. Declining birth rates:Replacement rate = 2.1 child per woman<br />13<br />
    25. 25. 14<br />Lives of young people will be differentfrom those we knew growing up.<br />
    26. 26. We see aging in monastic communities – blame fewer vocations or the exodus after Vatican II.<br />Sisters are “recycled” not retired.<br />People may be less free to consider monastic life because of their parents’ need for care<br />Fewer young people available to enter<br />Society’s perspective on the acceptability of religious life may change <br />15<br />How does an aging society affect monastic life?<br />
    27. 27. Marrying later<br />Sexuality separated from marriage and family<br />Divorce and cohabitation<br />Career and workplace (not family-friendly)<br />Emphasis on “freedom” and self-actualization<br />Progression from “clan” to “nuclear family” to“couple” to “as long as it works”<br />Norms of “success” are more materialistic<br />16<br />Why so few children?<br />
    28. 28. (Break)<br />17<br />
    29. 29. Economic Changes<br />18<br />
    30. 30. Affluenza<br />19<br />affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. (de Graaf)<br />
    31. 31. 20<br />
    32. 32. Thorstein Veblen’s analysis showed that wives, servants, and children were an important way for men to display their success. <br />In modern times, the display has replaced the success.<br />Conspicuous Consumption<br />
    33. 33. Excessive Consumption = Environmental degradation<br />22<br />
    34. 34. Inequality: The poor you will always have with you<br />23<br />An ancient Sumerian art piece shows awareness of social classes then…<br />The nobles, priests, and warriors at the top…<br />Below them, merchants and artisans …<br />The serfs and slaves who performed manual labor on the bottom.<br />
    35. 35. Affluence: not equally distributed<br />24<br />
    36. 36. Cultural and Social Change<br />25<br />
    37. 37. Modernity: the age of industrialization<br />Marvelous gifts of science & prosperity<br />Tragedies of inequality & dehumanization<br />Religious vocations<br />More schools to educate workforce<br />More hospitals as medicine improves<br />Care for the poor (urban and immigrant especially)<br />Sense that new society is normless<br />26<br />Modernity and Post-modernity<br />
    38. 38. The early theorists explored the impact<br />Karl Marx: the power of the “haves” to the work and product of the “have nots”<br />Max Weber: “iron cage” of bureaucracy<br />Now seems quite natural to us<br />Rules, written records, roles: not relationships<br />Durkheim: “mechanical” solidarity<br />We function like cogs in a machine<br />Anomie – we lose a sense of norms and belonging<br />Saw religion as “glue” that holds society together<br />27<br />Modernity and Post-modernity<br />
    39. 39. 28<br />
    40. 40. 29<br />Post-Modernity<br />Post modern has a variety of meanings<br />Distance between persons disappears<br />National cultures blend<br />Media simulatesrealities<br />Media becomemore real thaneveryday life<br />
    41. 41. 30<br />
    42. 42. 31<br />Post-Modernity<br />Perhaps there is no reality. <br />Relativism: we each exist inour own, equally valid, form of reality.<br />Pushes the limits of culture – to find reality if it’s there or to demonstrate that it is not<br />
    43. 43. 32<br />Post-Modernity<br />
    44. 44. Pluralism and Identity<br />33<br />
    45. 45. Smaller world, more connected <br />Powerful nations are not so powerful<br />Corporations / NGOs have new power<br />Individuals & movements gather power for good or evil<br />34<br />Globalization<br />
    46. 46. Resources are likely to be constrained and access to them conflicted<br />Young adulthood – an extended time beforeassuming mature responsibilities<br />Multiple roles and identities at one time, and over the course of a lifetime<br />We will have interlocking and serial relationships and communities<br />What place do peace, hospitality, community and stability have in such a culture? <br />35<br />America’s future<br />
    47. 47. 36<br />
    48. 48. Culture Shift:The Shape of Monastic Life in the Future<br />Sister Edith Bogue<br />Benedictine Renewal Program<br />Mount St. Benedict Monastery<br />Crookston, Minnesota<br />16 June 2011<br />

    ×