Slightly different, and shorter, pod today. We wrap up our series on community by discussing the impact of Covid-19. This similar to our Future of Community episode, in that we try to predict what may happen, with the biggest impact being that Covid is certainly accelerating existing trends. We also discuss church and family life over the past year, and a few positives that have seemed to emerge. The main one being people meeting new neighbors, this is true for us, but is also a trend that surveys have show.
We hope you enjoy this final episode being a bit of excursus and that the series overall was beneficial. Community is something that is quite important to us, and it only seemed fitting to start the Cloister cast with this topic. If you haven’t listened yet, you can find all the episode in the player below and every where podcasts are found. You can find my commentaries about our previous episodes – History of Community, Decline of Community, and Future of Community. You can find all episode, show notes, and more at ModernCloister.com. We’d love to hear any comments, questions, or criticisms you may have.
I was out of town last week, so this is a little old, but the most recent Modern Cloister Podcast is up and live. We continue out series in Community and discuss the future of community. Most of it is speculation, but also following various trends. A week or so ago, a Gallup survey came out that shows that church membership dropped below the 50% threshold for the first time since they have tracked. It is worth noting that it is not the lowest in US history, most Historians peg Colonial to pre-Great Awakening membership to something like 20-30%. The survey points to many of the things we discussed in out Decline of Community podcast, such as the rise in the 30’s and the peak in the 50’s, with major changes come in the 70’s and 80’s. They also have a few speculations about the future, and the implications.
I personally do not believe we will drop to the 10% mark in other post-Christian democracies, mostly due to immigration; however, a return to the pre-revival American age of 20-30% seems imminent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those levels be 2050. We will talk in the next Pod about how we believe Covid will accelerate the trends of the declince.
In this week’s episode, we discuss the decline of community in America. This is probable most famously captured in the book, Bowling Alone. The changes in communal life in general had two major impacts on Christians, first the pursuit of individualism and consumer focused churches leads to over an overall decline Christian community, second the decline of each lead to a broader decoupling of church culture and American culture. I should note that when we think of 50’s American culture and Christianity, we are talking about White Protestant Americans. I know that leaves many people out, especially black people and Catholics, but the sad fact of American life (as far as culture shaping) and politics of the time is that these groups specifically were excluded (think segregation and the controversy of JFK being Catholic).
Our last episode discussed the history of Christian community, and today’s is still a little but of history, but it is a turning point that brings major change and will lead us into our next episode of where we are today. We’ll have one more offshoot episode, on the impacts of Covid, to wrap up the series. You can find us on all the major platforms (if you are on one that doesn’t have it, let me know) or listen to it here or on my Modern Cloister page from the tabs at the top.
On Twitter the other day I saw someone say, ‘at this point, I need you to list that you don’t have a podcast’. I guess I can no longer say that. Mrs. MMT has convinced me to start a podcast. We are calling it the Modern Cloister, and homage/play on Martin Luther’s Black Cloister (now mostly called Lutherhaus). You can go here for a really good write up of life in the Black Cloister, or here for a shorter article about the history of the ‘home’ (or both to get a better understanding). Our first episode, Welcome to the Modern Cloister, also touches on this history, how we chose the name, and our goals for the podcast.
Our second episode, A History of Christian Community, the first episode in four part series on Christian Community. In this episode, we discuss community in the Old and New Testaments, the early Christian church, and then in ‘Christendom’, which brings us up to the modern age. It has a little more history and a little less discussion than the others in the series, because of the ground work that needs to be laid. Our next episodes in the series are about the current state of community, the future, and then the impact of Covid.
We plan to release on the first and third Sundays of the month. The goal is to mostly do series, but there may be one off episodes as well. Also, towards the end of the month, we will do a review episode of events that happened that month. We have already started our next series. You can find us a Modern Cloister, we aren’t yet on all the players, but once we are, please subscribe. We are also on YouTube, and I’ve posted a player below, if you like listening at work on your computer. Hope you enjoy, would really appreciate any feedback.