Is This “Real” Community

The following post was first written on July 19, 2009 by Jeremy who no longer writes for the blog. I found his post buried in the “Pages” section of wordpress and realized that no one has read it since we have no links there. It has a bit of our old flavor from before we became Anglophiles.
Jeremy Sig
us-ia-mvc2One of the topics most discussed in churches today is that of community. In fact, so prevalent is this topic in Christian circles that even the esteemed theophiliacs have broached the subject a time or two. Unfortunately, the topic of community rarely gets past elevated rhetoric or semantical digression. All too often the pragmatics of “real” Christian community get lost in the haze of koom by ya music and all to competative game nights. (or as in the case of theophiliacs disagreements on the etimological, epistomological, and theological understandings of community). So when I came across some people who were living out radical community in a very pragmatic way it caught my attention. So I submit for your scrutiny Maharishi Vedic City in, of all places, Iowa.

This community has embraced modern living while still structuring their city around the most ancient of religious doctrines. For instance they have their own modern hospital, elementary and secondary schools, government institutions, even hotels. Yet they also meditate twice a day as a community, only consume locally grown organic food, and have a local group of devotees who practice yogic flying for sake of cultivating world peace. In every way, both ancient and modern, they have incoporated vedic principles into the very fabric of life. So as someone who belongs to a religious tradition that is currently obsessed with communality, I ask if this is a model that could prove useful for further endeavors into “real” Christian communal living?

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3 Comments

  1. I truly hope to give energy and shape to forming such Christian “communities” in the future. Seminaries, “Urban and Rural New & Old Monastic & Ordered Communities,” and new ways of ordering Parish life itself.

    Because I think Jeremy is right, most talk of “community” is just that. But I disagree with some (not Jeremy, but “some”) who think this is just high-falootin’ talk from disinfranchized white kids. I think that there is a genuine and widely felt discomfort with the fragmented lives Christians and Parishes live; these people just need someone to get them started and give them “rules”- in the sense of a “rule of life.”

    We could really use some brave and creative Bishops. Far too often we have bishops who are “creative” with theology and not with evangelism.

    Reply

  2. Book recommendation: http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Community-Stories-Walkways-Cohousing/dp/1555915019

    I was getting way into the cohousing idea. Now, cohousing as it is currently practiced in the u.s. has been commodified…just google the prices on cohousing community houses! It’s another expensive lifestyle choice.

    However, finding a cohousing that is sustainable, something more rooted in common goods discoverable within Christianity, that is something that excites the heck outta me.

    We live on a small farm, but we don’t own it. We rent. My wife’s parents live in one guest house, a dear friend/brother and his wife just moved into the other guest home. We share meals and have begun sharing chores, etc.

    The landlord is a Christian who has been schooled in the mindset that it’s his Christian responsibility to maximize his profit. Unless he’s convinced otherwise, the land will be turned into more track homes.

    Well, thank God for the housing market crash. Now if we could find the best use for the land and find favor in the landlord’s eyes, maybe we can rescue this little piece of land from being paved.

    Reply

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