Item description for A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation by Jason Brian Santos & Desmond Tutu...
Overview Presents information about the history, character, and daily life of the French Christian ecumenical community known as Taize that offers a vision of reconciliation, trust, and freedom.
Publishers Description Taize--the word is strangely familiar to many throughout the contemporary church. Familiar, perhaps, because the chanted prayers of Taize are well practiced in churches throughout the world. Strangely, however, because so little is known about Taize--from its historic beginnings to how the word itself is pronounced. The worship of the Taize community, as it turns out, is best understood in the context of its greater mission. On the day Jason Brian Santos arrived in the Taize community its leader was brutally murdered before his eyes. Instead of making Santos want to leave, the way the community handled this tragedy made him long to stay and learn more about this group of people who could respond to such evil with grace and love. In this book he takes us on a tour of one of the world's first ecumenical monastic orders, from its monastic origins in the war-torn south of 1940s France to its emerging mission as a pilgrimage site and spiritual focal point for millions of young people throughout the world. InA Community Called Taize you'll meet the brothers of the order and the countless visitors and volunteers who have taken upon themselves a modest mission: pronouncing peace and reconciliation to the church and the world."
From Publishers Weekly When he first visited the Taiz ecumenical community in France's Burgundy region, author Santos, now a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, had no plans to write a book. By his second trip, however, the idea for one had taken root. Geared to an English-speaking, North American audience and said to be a first-of-its-kind account, this lovely and instructive book mingles the community's history with descriptions of day-to-day life and practical information about making a pilgrimage to Taiz. Although many American Christians are familiar with Taiz's chants, few may know the details Santos imparts. Most compelling among them is the author's witnessing Taiz founder Brother Roger's violent death in 2005 at the hands of a disturbed woman during evening prayers. Santos insists that this did not lead him to write the book, but it provides a remarkable context for writing about the community that has attracted so many with its message of reconciliation, trust and freedom. Besides Santos's careful research, readers will appreciate his thoughtful ideas about how to take Taiz's spirit beyond the community. (Nov.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews A Community Called Taiz: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation by Jason Brian Santos & Desmond Tutu has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Commonweal - 09/25/2009 page 28
Publishers Weekly - 10/13/2008 page 50
Christianity Today - 04/01/2009 page 62
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Studio: Intervarsity Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.22" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2008
Publisher IVP Books
ISBN 0830835253 ISBN13 9780830835256
Reviews - What do customers think about A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation?
fabulous Apr 24, 2010
Not only did this have useful information, it is a delightful read. I've always wanted to go to Taize, and I feel like I've been there!
An informative account of an inspiring and prayerful experience Mar 5, 2010
This book would be helpful for anyone who is going to visit Taize, and I found it equally valuable for "armchair travelers" like myself. (I traveled about 14 years ago from New York to Geneva to Lyon to Roanne to the Community of St. John in St. Jodard, a place as off the beaten path as Taize. I thought my fatigue was due to my age, but Dos Santos had the same experience and he's younger.) His book explains the genesis of the community, its development, and describes the murder of the founder, Brother Roger--which occurred during Dos Santos' first visit in 2005--and what a normal visit is like. Taize seems to be a unique and blessed place, and I was very grateful to find such a good guide to it. Books on the community are scarce in English, so Dos Santos' account is even more appreciated.
If you can get past the first few chapters... Nov 16, 2009
then the book becomes worth reading. Until then Santos writes from the point of view of "you" rather than simply stating his own experiences. It would have been so much more enjoyable if he had just written a straightforward account of his time at Taize. He also over uses the phrase "young people" to the point of making me want to scream. Surely there were other people at Taize. Once "you" get past the first few chapters he begins the telling of Brother Roger's life. It is then that the book settles into one of enjoyable and entertaining reading.
seventy years of Taizé Aug 5, 2009
Jason Santos made his first trip to Taizé in 2005. Like the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who've trekked to Taizé for seventy years, he was deeply impacted by its call for reconciliation among divided Christians and peace to the whole human family. Unlike the other pilgrims, he received the blessing of the Taizé brothers to conduct interviews, research, and write a book about his experiences. The result is a simple, reliable and admittedly uncritical introduction to Taizé.
Santos begins by describing his first encounter with Taizé. His book offers readers what he calls a "simulated encounter." He then explains the founding of what became the Taizé community by Roger Louis Schutz-Marsauche (1915-2005) in 1940, its history to the present, its ethos and vision. Those like me who have never visited Taizé will especially enjoy his very practical description of the daily and weekly rhythm at Taizé, including the physical layout of its buildings and what a typical dorm room and meal are like. He even provides travel tips at the end of the book. Visitors participate in the three daily services of prayer and worship, characterized by Taizé's own chants and songs. Every visitor is given a work task like trash pickup, cleaning the bathrooms or meal preparation. Small group "Bible Introductions" fill out a typical day.
"Brother Roger" was a Swiss Reformed Protestant, and Taizé might be broadly described as Protestant ecumenical monastic order of about a hundred brothers from twenty-five nations. These brothers live at Taizé, but they also itinerate around the world with their message of ecumenical reconciliation and peace to the world. They follow their own written "rule." At the center of it all stands the Church of Reconciliation, dedicated in 1962, which holds 6,000 worshippers. Founded in 1940, by 1970 young people from 42 nations had made the pilgrimage to Taizé. Today about 100,000 pilgrims visit every year. Santos's simple book joins a larger literature about Taizé and shows why that pilgrimage is so compelling to so many.
A Look at the Taize Community Jun 11, 2009
My first introduction to the music of Taizé came in 2006. I was reading a book by the late Robert Webber and came across a brief mention of a monastic community that recorded chants in various languages. I looked up Taizé on iTunes, sampled some songs, and then bought a CD. (I now own several.)
The Taizé chants are splendid. They are beautifully written, well-performed, and the instrumentation adds an ethereal dimension to the sound. Most of the lyrics are verses from Scripture. The chants are sung in many different languages (including Latin), and yet their brevity and repetition help listeners learn to sing along without too much difficulty.
Taizé is a Protestant monastic community in France that welcomes all denominations. The monastery's purpose is to be a place of reconciliation and peace between Christians of all different stripes. Thousands of young people go to Taizé every year, from all over the world - including Africa, Asia and Europe.
A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation (IVP, 2008) by Jason Brian Santos documents the history of the Taizé community. The first night that Santos arrived at Taizé was the fateful night in August 2005 when Brother Roger, the 90-year-old founder of the monastery was stabbed to death during evening prayers by a deranged Romanian woman. Santos witnessed the incident from just a few feet away.
The book opens with this story, partly because of its drama, but mainly because the community's reaction to Brother Roger's death illuminates the emphasis on reconciliation for which this monastery is known. The rest of the book tells the story of the community's beginning and development. Santos also helps readers know what to expect should they decide to go.
At times, I felt like the book was a biography. At other times, it seemed to be a travel guide. But in the end, the book succeeds at both levels.
Taizé is an ecumenical monastery. Because of the emphasis on reconciliation between humans, the gospel's horizontal dimension (peace between people) is emphasized, almost to the exclusion of the gospel teaching about our reconciliation to God.
Some readers will undoubtedly find this ecumenism troubling. Furthermore, Protestants generally view the entire monastic enterprise as unnecessary, irrelevant, and sometimes dangerous. And often for good reasons!
At the same time, those of us in the Protestant tradition need to admit our need for some of the spiritual disciplines that the monastic tradition offers.
Why do so many Christians go on spiritual retreats? We have deacon retreats, youth retreats, and pastors' conferences - places where Christians seek to "get away" and "get alone" with God. It seems clear that even as we eschew monasticism, we find monastic-influenced retreats to be spiritually fruitful.
Why is there such a hunger among Christians today for authentic Christian community? Perhaps the church has become so market-driven that we are attracted to the simplicity of prayer and Scripture reading, of Word and Sacrament, of fellowship and exhortation.
Why are we seeking out times of silence and solitude during the hectic pace of Western life? Perhaps the noise of our busy lifestyles has kept us from hearing the voice of God through the spending of unhindered time in his Word.
I believe there are aspects of the monastic tradition to which we should be cautiously open. We can learn from a community like Taizé, even if we may differ from some of the theology and the extent of the ecumenism advocated there. I am most grateful for the heavenly music created by these praying Christians. You ought to listen to some of the chants. You might be pleasantly surprised.