In medieval western Europe, monasticism was an important part of many communities, and a large number of people lived as monks and nuns. Today, however, monasticism is virtually nonexistent in much of western Europe, and most everywhere else plays a much smaller role in society with a much smaller number of adherents, at least as a percentage of the population.
Are there institutions and vocations that hold a prominent place in our world today that will similarly shrink from view centuries from now? There must be. In a sense, I am wondering—who are the monks and nuns of the twenty-first century?
I don't have an answer to this question; I just thought it was interesting to consider. Who knows what sort of shifts in our social structures and career paths might occur centuries from now, or what organizations and professions that we have utter faith in today might lose that support in the future? Please let me know if you have ideas!
|Young monks in Myanmar (Burma), a place where monasticism is still relatively strong (image source)|