Tradition and imagination in the creation of a new monastic model in contemporary Hispanic America

Gustavo Andrés Ludueña
2008 International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church  
From an anthropological and historical perspective, and focusing mainly on the Argentinean situation, this article analyses Catholic male monasticism in Hispanic America, with the particular objective of evaluating the crisis, religious change and monastic imagination identified in contemporary Benedictine communities. It is argued that imagination, as a process of symbol production, has been intrinsically related to the practice of a new monastic spirituality; it has in fact been the force
more » ... been the force behind the appearance of religious experiences ideologically anchored in early Christian traditions. Empirical data on the Benedictine Order in Argentina suggests that at least three models of consecrated life can be identified in twentieth century Hispanic America, namely, the ministerial model, the social model and the patristic model. Research leads to the conclusion that these paradigms emerged through processes of imagination applied to the reinvention of tradition -creatively but, also, conservatively -in a global context in which both the monastic institution and society face changing demands.
doi:10.1080/14742250701841756 fatcat:noomn574rrckdcnlua6pjre7tq