As part of my non-fiction reading in Lent I have just finished Cave Refectory Road by Ian Adams. It is a very short book so didn’t take long to read and I’m afraid it was a bit of a disappointment to me.
I don’t know Ian Adams although I see he is a regular speaker at Greenbelt, and Anglican priest, and co-founder and abbot of the experimental mayBe community in Oxford. The book is subtitled ‘monastic rhythms for contemporary living’. I think the book is supposed to be looking at how the new monasticism can learn from the old so there was much talk of the Benedictine way of life, a little bit of Francis and a few desert fathers. But nothing was in any depth so when they mentioned new communities like mayBe, The Community of Bose, Taize (although not exactly new), Earth Abbey, Anglican Cathedral of Second Life, Mirfield (again not new), etc and then gave no information about them I felt a bit cheated. THAT is what the book ought to have been about. Showing how those communities work, and what they have learned from the past. It was not enough just to mention them in passing and then give their website address at the end of the book.
Now I’m going to have to spend hours looking them all up when it could have been put into this book and saved me a lot of time.