New Release: The Story of Monasticism

Cover ArtSome evangelicals perceive monasticism as a relic from the past or a retreat from the world, or they reject it as an aberration in Protestant circles. At the same time, contemporary evangelical spirituality desires historical Christian manifestations of the faith.

In this accessibly written book, an expert in monastic studies offers a historical survey of monasticism from its origins to current manifestations. Greg Peters recovers the riches of the monastic tradition for contemporary spiritual formation and devotional practice, explaining why the monastic impulse is a valid and necessary manifestation of the Christian faith for today’s church. Professors and students in Christian history and Christian spirituality classes will value this work, as will readers interested in evangelical spiritual formation.


“I have never met a Protestant theologian–evangelical or mainline–who speaks about monastics with as much competence and ease as Greg Peters. This book presents a well-documented, interesting, and enjoyable summary of the Christian monastic way of life.” – Fr. Abbot Denis Farkasfalvy, University of Dallas

“This book accomplishes what it promises: to narrate the history of monasticism for those who are new to the topic and for those who already know something about it….What makes this historical introduction unique is that Greg does not leave the reader in the past; in the spirit of ressourcement, the story he traces (from the Old Testament to Thomas Merton) becomes spiritually edifying along the way.” – Dennis Okholm, author of Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins

“Greg Peters sets out to convince his readers that the church has always had and has always needed a monastic witness….Carefully researched, balanced, and irenic, this book seeks to affect the way we do church by uncovering resources from those who lived in intentional Christian communities.” – James Wilhoit, Wheaton College

“Greg Peters has provided the evangelical community an invaluable service by laying before us a banquet of insight into the monastic impulse–the love for God, the desire for community, the draw toward a rule of life.” – John Coe, Talbot School of Theology and Rosemead School of Psychology


Greg Peters (PhD, University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto), a Benedictine oblate, spiritual director, and ordained pastor in the Anglican tradition, is associate professor of medieval and spiritual theology in the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. He is also visiting professor of monastic studies at St. John’s School of Theology in Minnesota and adjunct assistant professor of church history and ascetical theology at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin. Peters is the author of Peter of Damascus: Byzantine Monk and Spiritual Theologian and Reforming the Monastery: Protestant Theologies of Religious Life

For more information on The Story of Monasticism, click here.