The "new city" is a vision of communal living particularly inspired by the life and teachings of Basil of Caesarea. Basil was a Christian living in the region of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) in the fourth century. There, he founded a new kind of spiritual community where rich and poor people came together to share their gifts and practice healing arts. After Basil’s death, this community became known as the “New City.”
The vision of the “New City” is not limited to a Christian context, however. It is also informed by stories and images taken from many religious traditions, including the Jewish notion of tikkun ha ir tikkun ha olam (“repair of the city=repair of the world”), and the Muslim practice of the Hajj, which brings together people of every ethnicity, social background, and language as one ummah or community.
Our understanding of the New City is founded around six practices that constitute the heart of what it means to live in community. These six practices are distilled from Basil's teachings as found in the book On Social Justice, translated and with an introduction by Paul Schroeder, the founder of New City Initiative (for more on Paul Schroeder and the Six Practices, visit www.sixpractices.com). The six practices are:
Healthy Sisters By Susanna Rempel, Associate Director Healthy Sisters has been a part of New City’s work since the summer of 2012. Over the last four years, 14 volunteer drive...