This book examines the economy of contemporary Catholic monasticism from a sociological perspective, considering the ways in which monasteries engage with the capitalist world economy via a model which aims less at ‘performance’ per se, than at the fulfilment of human and religious values.
Based on fieldwork across several countries in Europe, Africa and South America, it explores not only the daily work and economy in monastic communities in their tensions with religious life, but also the new interest from society in monastic products or monastic management. With attention to present trends in monastic economy, including the growth of ecology and the role of monasteries in the social and economic development of their localities, the author demonstrates that monastic economy consists not solely in the subsistence of religious communities outside the world, but in economic activity that has a real impact on its local or even more global environment, in part through transnational networks of monasteries.
As such, Contemporary Monastic Economy: A Sociological Perspective will appeal to scholars of religious studies and sociology with interests in contemporary monasticism.
Isabelle Jonveaux is Lecturer in Religious Studies at Private University College of Teacher Education of Graz and at the Catholic University of Linz, Austria. She is the co-editor of Monasticism in Modern Times and The Transformation of Religious Orders in Central and Eastern Europe.