Karen Sloan is a campus minister in Connecticut and a protestant who is conversant with monastic practices. This book, Flirting with Monasticism: Finding God on Ancient Paths is a description of her journey of discovery into the world of monasticism and what she discovered there.
It is the first book I have read on monasticism written from a female perspective. It was helpful me. In a funny irony though, Sloan ended up flirting a lot with a specific monk and there was a romantic sub-story through the whole book that was just distracting. All the same, this book had a lot of good material for someone interested in monasticism, its history and current practice and it’s relationship to the Christian faith.
Here’s some flirty quotes:
- p.17, “Around eight hundred years ago, Dominic de Guzman…gathered and trained communities of priests and brothers to follow a monastic simplicity as itinerant preachers of the gospel…Ministering in urban settings often required intelligent and systematic explanations of faith, causing the well-educated Dominic to make sure those in the order studied extensively at the best universities in Europe.”
- p.19, “a Dominican priest would ask me incredulously, ‘You mean you just showed up at seminary and started studying?’ “
- p.131, “Those in orders are also keenly aware that parts of the life of faith are mysterious. There cannot always be explanations, but only an invitation to enter the mystery.”
- p.137, “all the people who said they had to do something else first when Jesus called them to follow Him, never ended up following Him. Those who did follow, dropped everything and followed immediately.”