Talk:Taizé Community

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Just added news from Roger's death. Feel free to modify as details emerge in the following days.

Taize Services in the US[edit]

Hi, I wrote the brief part about Taize services in the US. I hope that's ok. This page seems to be specifically about the Taize community more than the services, so I hope it's ok that I put the article here. Please write to me if it is inappropriate and suggest where (if anyplace) I should put this info. The reason I wanted to add the info is that I think many people would love the Taize service (as we know it here in the US), and so I thought it might be nice to have it on Wikipedia.

Sarum blue 14:54, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


Hello, Thank you. But I would prefer to remove it (which I just have). For three reasons really: 1) The community has always been very clear that it does not have a "movement" around it. And this content could be construed in the opposite way. 2) The character of the prayer you mention is just a specific example and cannot be generalised (as you do) to all prayers which use music from Taizé or call themselves "Taizé prayers". 3) A page which is about the Community of Taizé as such should, we feel, remain just about the community. (If we start with prayers in the USA, then why not the Philippines, Chile, UK, Korea, etc?)

By all means place the article somewhere else as a description of clearly identified prayers in which you're involved.

Wikimonk 09:33, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Other corrections[edit]

Corrected broken links and some details in the section Yong adult meetings Added reference to the foundational text of the Community: The Rule of Taizé.

Wikimonk (talk) 11:21, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I have also made some other corrections. e.g. Priory -> Community (the community has never been known as a "Priory"). and "thousands of people visiting each week", I've changed to "with many thousand people visiting each year".

And removed the reference to Orthodox members of the Community (there are, as yet, none).

Wikimonk 09:33, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


I am just making a similar change to the one made earlier. Namely, removing the section "Influence Abroad". A page about the Taizé Community should remain focussed on the Community, not on groups which have a more or less tenuous connection with the Community. Perhaps you could create another page about "Prayers in the US using songs from Taize"? The paragraph suggests that the Community's main influence outside France is in North America. This is to give an incorrect impression.

I have put in a couple of photos of the evening prayer and of small group meetings at Taizé.

Wikimonk 21:58, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I edited, or did somewhat of a revert, of the "many thousands each year" piece. Up to 6 thousand come in one week in summer, which scales the idea of "many thousand" to a more correct level, (many thousand could suggest 6,000 in a whole year. Thanks.

Wslack 00:01, 5 June 2006

I have just re-removed the whole section entitled "Taizé Services in the United States" for the same reasons which were given in February for making a similar change.

Wikimonk 20:51, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I have just re-removed the reference "eventually several Orthodox brothers joined the community." which is untrue. There are not, nor ever have been any Orthodox brothers in the community.

Wikimonk (talk) 09:49, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

I also removed the link to the external site http://sites.google.com/site/testtaize which is abusive. It mimics the style and content of the official site of the community in order to make not a serious critique, but to trick people into thinking that this content is published by the Taizé Community.

Wikimonk (talk) 09:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Again re-removed "Orthodox" members (3rd time!): this is getting boring! -- maybe the community would be happy to have Orthodox brothers, but to say they already exist is factually incorrect.

Also removed from External Links one link which no longer led anywhere, and a link to "Taizé Music" which was a blatant advert for music which does not come from Taizé. Added a correct link for Taizé music. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikimonk (talkcontribs) 09:32, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Removed an external link which promised mp3 file which did not exist on target page. Added a link to some quality photos on Flickr Did a little work on the section 'Growth of the community' to make it clear that the community is not still present in all those places. Added Senegal and Kenya.

Wikimonk (talk) 21:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Again re-removed the reference to Orthodox brothers in the community and given a reference for this. Added two recent articles from UK press about the community

Wikimonk (talk) 23:05, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Amended a confused phrase which made it sound as if, after his death, Br Roger had somehow appointed br Alois!

Wikimonk (talk) 07:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

POV[edit]

There are probably been some articles about it describing it from the outside. Everything here is from within the Community and I do not think any of the sources are 3rd party in the WP sense. Further, there should be some outside references that make less than positive comments & they need to be added. Everything here is from within the Community. I've put a POV tag on the article. Feel free to delete it after you've added the sources.DGG 17:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to add some information from a paper I wrote during my Masters of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary. I am not connected officially to Taizé, however, I have the upmost respect for their mission. If you'd like to know something particular about the community or see something beyond what is up on the wiki page, let me know and I can add it accordingly. While I don't think there is ever a purely third party perspective (as we always operate out of our own presuppositions and hermeneutical lenses), hopefully my thoughts will fill in some of the detail. Judahpedia (talk) 18:32, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

The whole article remains horrendously POV. I think Taize may well be, on balance, a great force for good and greater understanding, but this reads like the worst sort of uncritical hagiography (especially of Brother Roger, I can hear (s)weeping violins in the background in places reading this, even though it doesn't go into the appalling circumstances of his death) at present. I don't know enough about the subject to add anything but the lack of neutrality here is amazing. Ghughesarch (talk) 01:06, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I get it... You don't think that what I added contained a neutral perspective. I can appreciate that. But quite frankly, you don't need to be belligerent or rude about it. The point of any wiki is to collectively and collaboratively find a way to communicate something that is acceptable by most parties. So if there are points of dissension... raise those points. The fact is, much of the information in my addition is historically verifiable. Yes, my prose might be construed as hagiography, and for that I apologize. What I don't understand is what makes you think that you're able to determine what is critical and uncritical when it comes to this article when you admittedly know very little about the community. I'm more than willing to revise the article, if you're willing to approach the subject with some indication that you have the ability to participate in a civil discourse or show even a glimmer of epistemic humility. Judahpedia (talk) 21:03, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

An utterly charmless intervention - thank you. Clearly you have issues with anyone criticising what you have written (which also cites no sources - is it a cut and paste of your thesis?). I wasn't being belligerent or rude (but you certainly are), merely critical, in the true academic sense of the word. At present, the article reads like a Reader's Digest version of history, decorating the facts in an excess of purple prose - that was my point. To take, as an example, the early lines:

"At the heart of Taizé’s ecumenical fellowship, we find one man’s vision to create an authentic Christ-centered communal life. This one man was the late Roger Marsauche-Schultz, who is called by those who knew him as simply “Brother Roger.” On May 12, 1915 in the village of Provence, Switzerland (about fifteen miles from Neuchâtel) Roger was born to his French mother Amélie Marsauche, and his Swiss father Charles Schultz. His father, a Swiss Reformed pastor, first modeled an ecumenical understanding of Christianity to his child. "

What I think that means is that:

"The Taize community was founded by Roger Marsauche-Schultz (though, incidentally, that is not correct, it's Roger Schutz-Marsauche, see Brother Roger which is not linked from this article but which would help with the biographical background - though as it's already on wikipedia there may not be a need to reproduce it here), known as Brother Roger, (born May 12 1915) in the village of Provence, Switzerland. His father, Karl Schutz, was a pastor in the Swiss Reformed Church, and Roger later attributed his own ecumenical understandings to his influence (citation needed)"

You see what I mean - the same information, imparted in about half the space with none of the unverifiable opinion? Rather than address that in the article, you choose to come here and get upset with me for pointing out its shortcomings, which are mostly of tone, rather than factual content - and given that most of the article as it stands is about Brother Roger, it should be (in its sober, non-hagiographical form) contained in the Brother Roger article, not here. I don't have an axe to grind about Taize at all, I just think it deserves better than this "Hearts and Flowers" stuff which is so stylistically poor, as it's a truly extraordinary institution. And I still find the fact that the circumstances of Brother Roger's death aren't mentioned at all quite remarkable, given the enormous impact it had on the community. Ghughesarch (talk) 00:40, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Let me start by apologizing if I came across curt. I did feel that your tone was unnecessarily critical and I still do. And for the record, I don't have "issues" with people criticizing what I have written (something that happens on a regular basis), whereas I do have issue with scholastic arrogance. That said, I do feel I responded inappropriately, and for that, again, I'm genuinely sorry. When I pasted the section from a paper that I wrote several years ago, I was merely trying to answer some of the questions that people had. I fully anticipated it being edited for content, tone, and even style. I will look through the selection in the next few days and attempt to remove the POV tone and add some citations. What I would appreciate, however, is a like-minded (and toned) effort from you. Isn't that the point here? Also, thanks for the correction of Brother Roger's name, it was a mistake that I discovered in the paper and never went back to change. Before I begin the edit, however, I would like to know that you share my sentiments. Judahpedia (talk) 04:19, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I had some time and tried to make this more neutral and structured. Who decides when the POV badge disappears? 85.181.149.157 (talk) 23:48, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

I've done a bit of rearrangement but it still needs references Ghughesarch (talk) 14:21, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Would it be possible to make a list of the specific things that need references in that article? I am not too familiar with Wikipedia's policies, so it would be much easier that way for me to add references where necessary and at the same time avoid spamming the article with unnecessary ones. 85.181.150.75 (talk) 15:48, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Everything that's in bold type here, for example, needs some sort of verifiable reference (many of them may be the same source):

The Taizé Community was founded by Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche (later known simply as Frère Roger or Brother Roger), born on May 12, 1915 in the village of Provence, Switzerland, the son of Amélie Marsauche and Charles Schütz, a Swiss Reformed pastor. Brother Roger recalled that when he was twelve he saw his father go into a Roman Catholic church to pray. About a year later, when Roger needed to leave home to attend secondary school, his parents sent him to lodge in the home of a poor Catholic widow, who had several children. Although lodging with another Protestant family was possible, his father thought the extra money would help the Catholic family more, despite the fact that this family came from a different ecclesial tradition. Roger remained there until he began his university studies. In 1936, after a bout with education in literary studies, Roger entered his first year of theological education in Lausanne.

In the summer of 1940, after four years of theological studies and with only a short thesis to write to complete his degree, he decided to take a break from his education. Many surrounding countries had already been overrun by Nazi Germany, and Roger felt that his academic pursuits were too far removed from the war that persisted around him. He pondered what it really meant to live a life according to the Scriptures and began a quest for a different expression of the Christian life. A year after this decision Roger reflected, “‘The defeat of France awoke powerful sympathy. If a house could be found there, of the kind [I] had dreamed of, it would offer a possible way of assisting some of those most discouraged, those deprived of a livelihood; and it could become a place of silence and work.’” Because his Swiss homeland was neutral and thus less affected by the war, he felt as if France would be ideal for his vision. For Roger, France was a “land of poverty, a land of wartime suffering, but a land of inner freedom.” He eventually settled in Taizé, which was a small desolate village just north Cluny, the birthplace of western monasticism.

In September 1940, Roger purchased a small house that would eventually become the home of the Taizé community. Only miles south of the separation line that divided a war-torn country in half, Roger’s home became a sanctuary to countless war refugees seeking shelter. On November 11, 1942, the Gestapo occupied Roger’s house while he was in Switzerland collecting funds to aid in his refuge ministry. Roger was not able to return to his home in Taizé until the autumn of 1944, when France was liberated. In 1941, Roger had published a few small brochures outlining several facets of a Christ-centered communal life together. These brochures prompted two young men to knock on Roger’s door, soon followed by a third. They all lived in Switzerland in a flat owned by Roger’s family until after the war when they began a new life together in the French countryside. Over the next few years several other men would join the community that Brother Roger had started. On Easter day 1949, seven brothers committed themselves[1] to a life following Christ in simplicity, celibacy and community.[2] Ghughesarch (talk) 16:34, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

There is a book called A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship, and Reconciliation that documents most, if not all, of the information in bold. It was published by InterVarsity Press in October of 2008. The Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote the forward in addition to the Brother of Taizé having verified it's facticity. Would this suffice as a verifiable source? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.209.120.239 (talk) 15:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

There must, surely, be a more neutral source for most of the facts than a book published by a firm whose own website states that: Inter-Varsity Press publishes Christian books that are true to the Bible and that communicate the gospel, develop discipleship and strengthen the church for its mission in the world. - that isn't necessarily a neutral perspective from which to publish. I apologise if I'm mistaken but I think the author of the book is Judahpedia, who is also the author of most of this article, which I think presents a slight conflict of interest too.
If the book contains footnotes to the other reliable and reputable sources which verify the facts, then citing it would, I suppose, suffice for the time being, but it would be better to reference the original sources.Ghughesarch (talk) 20:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi all... and yes "Judahpedia" is the author of the book mentioned above (me). As for the verifiability of my own writing, which now seems to be the question at hand. There are only three other English sources on the history of Taizé in publication (outside of the short historical overviews in many books that come out of the community). All three of these sources obtained their information through the same research methods that I used: interviews/focus groups, participant observation, and data collection. My manuscript for my book went through several different sources for the purposes of verifying facts–two of whom were Brothers of Taizé. Kathryn Spink, a British biographer, has written, to date, the most detailed account of Brother Roger's life and all of my assertions are in accordance with her work.

Concerning my own credibility to do this research... In addition to my B.A., I hold two master degrees and I'm a candidate for my Ph.D. at Princeton. As part of my studies in Practical Theology, we have to demonstrate a high level of competence in our ability to not only know the various empirical research traditions and methods (qualitative and quantitative), but demonstrate this competency in the field. So, while my prose may sound somewhat poetic to you, which I have no problem being edited out, I'm not sure how to verify the facts of the community any more than I have. I am considered one of the top Taizé scholar in North America, I have a major publication with a reputable publishing house on the topic, a national figure (Tutu) endorsed the book, Publisher's Weekly gave the book a "starred review," and my educational qualifications warrant me to speak about my research on the community and the community itself. What more do you want? Seriously... what do you need to make this sufficient for you? Judahpedia (talk) 15:12, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Possible expansions of the article[edit]

Gijs Kruitbosch (talk) 14:48, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

List of brothers[edit]

Would it be useful or interesting to list the brothers currently in the community? Or at least the more 'present' ones (ie. the ones that write books and do bible introductions, country meetings or create some of the music or pottery that is sold in the exposition). If not a list, mentioning them might still be worthwhile.

Actually, listing the brothers and especially listing the more public brothers would be contrary to the ethos of the community. Commonality and modesty are two facets of the brothers' life that might conflict with this request. Judahpedia (talk) 18:24, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Mm, that is true. However, some of the members of the community still have (had) an individually significant history, that is documented elsewhere. Examples include fr. John (for whom there are author biographies on the back of some of his books, as well as on some publishers' sites), fr. Eric and fr. Michel (about whom the community itself wrote webpages on the occasion of their (separate) deaths), fr. Alois, fr. Roger (both of whom already have their own WP articles), fr. Stephen and fr. Lutz (mentioned and filmed in the French tv lead-in for last September's televised mass, and who currently have an exposition in Maçon). I can't recall at this moment whom of the brothers helped in the architecture of the current Church of Reconciliation, but I remember reading some of their personal history elsewhere as well. I agree that my original request (of having a list) probably does not make much sense, but I also believe we should not neglect to mention some of the brothers whose work has been more widely visible. Gijs Kruitbosch (talk) 19:27, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Sisters of St. Andrew[edit]

Why are the sisters not mentioned in the article? This would, I think, also make a great addition. While they are not in exactly the same community/order as the brothers, they play a large part in the overall community life (think El Abiodh, doing contact meetings for the girls, work in 'courier', as well as the choir practice and so on)

I'll add something today. Judahpedia (talk) 18:27, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

'Mission' work[edit]

The page also lacks information about where across the globe Taizé brothers are helping to make a difference. I'm not sure if this should really be called 'mission' work, but it should be mentioned nonetheless. I don't know enough about this work to do it myself, but it would be interesting if someone else could help out.

I'll add something today Judahpedia (talk) 18:26, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

History[edit]

Finally, the history of the community could be expanded upon, eg. giving details about the work fr. Roger did in the second world war, the move to Geneva and back, the first brothers arriving, his sister Geneviève (sp?) coming to help, etc. Again, I don't know so much about this myself, but if someone could help out that'd be great.

I'll add something today Judahpedia (talk) 18:27, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

An improvement over its successors[edit]

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Taizé_Community&oldid=38621162

I arrived at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taize prompted by a handful of references to Taize and looking for:

1) an enumeration of the "primary" vectors leading to and proceeding from Taize 2) a key to the composition of Taize music - several of the tokens that pointed me towards Taize were references in hymnals and bulletins 3) a distillation of the practice 4) a summary of the doctrine 5) a topology of its presence

I believe the snapshot of 15:15, 7 February 2006 was headed there but derailed by meanness and arrogance.

The insistance on restricting the article to a village in France makes as much sense as reducing Christianity to an article about Nazareth.

Oddly the single paragraph about music is almost adequate but because of the significance of Taize in contemporary church music a single example would have been welcome.

The section Taizé Services in the United States might have been better as a first person account of a typical service but it did serve to envision a "practice". DGG seems to discourage first person accounts. For some of us "practice" is the essence of religion.

The Taize site has a far more precise statement of the central doctrine than the current WP article.

Taize may have the reach and vitality of Cluny. Why should we attempt to restrict is to a small village in France?

Tarvid (talk) 21:30, 27 December 2008 (UTC)tarvid

Unanswered Questions[edit]

Here, and on the Taize site, it is explained that the group welcomes groups of "young people." Their site gives an upper age limit of 29, beyond which the "welcome" seems to be considerably reduced. Why do they do this? Is it because the brothers want to encourage people to "give their lives" to Christ, and this is more feasible for younger people? Is it some quirk arising from their participation in the youth movements in the 1960's? What?

As it stands, the article simply takes for granted that their agism is a reasonable and understandable policy. I think it warrants some discussion, if any explanation for it can be found.

Another issue: Are there any restrictions on which Christian denominations may participate? Have there ever been Mormons, for example? ("Protestant / Catholic / Orthodox" is not really a sufficient description of the diversity within Christianity.) 118.165.204.113 (talk) 21:25, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Fair questions. I'll see if I can help address (not necessarily answer) them:
  1. "Young": I think that simply reflects on a particular concern of theirs. (As an analogy, admittedly poor, in the secular world: schools, youth clubs, etc. also have a particular focus on younger people.) I would be utterly astonished in Taize ever turned away anyone over "a certain age".
  2. "Denominations": a key part of the Taize ethos is to work across denominations. If people from a particular denomination wish to work with Taize, I'm sure that Taize would willingly talk to them and not shut them out. (Those talks might end up without agreement, but that's different.) To take your Mormon example; try your question from the other direction: would the LDS want to work with Taize in the first place?

Hope that helps. Feline Hymnic (talk) 23:18, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Cult?[edit]

From the reading of this article, and some other information around the internet, the description of this community matches the definition of Cult. Should we at least place it under the grouping? 2001:610:308:692:6463:5321:B4B7:5D94 (talk) 22:26, 5 August 2012 (UTC)