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Cloister and Community

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Cloister and Community is both a history of the Carmelite monastery of Indianapolis and an introduction to the Carmelites, a contemplative order of Roman Catholicism, founded in the 13th century and rededicated as a reform movement for women religious in the 16th century by Teresa of Avila. A key element of the order is that its nuns live an ascetic, cloistered life, but as Mary Jo Weaver demonstrates, the view that one must "leave the world" to find sacred space apart from it has evolved to embrace the notion that the world itself is a sacred space. Weaver focuses on a modern Indianapolis community and describes how the sisters incorporate Carmelite belief and practice into their daily lives. Cloister and Community is a beautifully written and handsomely produced book that offers readers a privileged view of the world of present-day contemplative spirituality. ALSO OF INTEREST Being Right Conservative Catholics in America Edited by Mary Jo Weaver and R. Scott Appleby 0-253-32922-1 HB GBP34.50 0-253-20999-4 PB GBP15.50 What's Left Liberal American Catholics Edited by Mary Jo Weaver 0-253-21332-0 HB GBP30.50 0-253-21332-0 PB GBP14.50
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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents: Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Creating a Sacred Space 2. A Few Rooms/A Few Sisters 3. Content with Little 4. Never Out/Never Seen 5. Moving Stillness 6. A Door to the Universe Additional Notes Some Important Dates

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A vivid description of monastic life and a history of contemplative spirituality

About the Author

Mary Jo Weaver is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University. Her most recent books, Being Right and What's Left? (both Indiana University Press), have dealt with divisions within American Catholicism at the turn of the millennium. She has been a friend of the Indianapolis Carmelites for more than 20 years.


"For centuries the Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila has fascinated anyone interested in a life lived out of the depths of the human spirit. With warm and lively prose, Mary Jo Weaver tells not only Teresa's story but also how Teresa's ideals are lived by contemporary Carmelite nuns in Indianapolis. You will not want to set down this beautifully crafted tapestry of a saint and her modern daughters until you have turned its final page." -Keith J. Egan "This is an exquisite chronicle of seven decades of life at a Carmelite monastery in Indianapolis, a town a few hundred miles south east of Chicago... It is an elegantly written, intimate account of life behind the grille of one of the best-known Carmelite monasteries in the English-speaking world."--The Catholic Herald, 8 August 2003

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