Landscapes of Desire / The Whole World Singing: A Journey to Iona and Taizé

Belden C. Lane

in Ravished by Beauty

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199755080
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894956 | DOI:
Landscapes of Desire / The Whole World Singing: A Journey to Iona and Taizé

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This chapter focuses on the Taizé and Iona communities. A little over two hours by high speed train from Geneva one can find the Taizé Community, known around the world for the beauty of its chanted worship. This monastic community of a hundred Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox monks was founded in the early 1940s by Brother Roger Schutz, a Swiss Reformed pastor. Having launched a communal experiment among students at the University of Lausanne, Brother Roger sought a site for a more permanent community in eastern France. He chose the village of Taizé, not far from the border of the Nazi-occupied zone. There, in the midst of rural poverty, his community stirred controversy with its clandestine efforts to help Jewish refugees escape into Switzerland, its organization of a milk co-op among local farmers, and its use of the vacant Roman Catholic village church for daily prayer. Seven hundred miles to the northwest along the rugged isles of Scotland's western coast, a restored Benedictine abbey is home to the Iona Community. It was founded by George MacLeod, a Church of Scotland pastor who organized unemployed stone masons and carpenters to rebuild the abbey in the 1930s. Here members of the community bear witness to the concerns of liturgical renewal, social justice, and ecumenical sharing. Both communities are based on a rule and a common life of prayer that joins work and worship in a Benedictine pattern.

Keywords: Taizé community; Iona community; monastic community; work; worship

Chapter.  3590 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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