Servants of Christ Research Professor of Monastic Studies and Ascetical Theology
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SMD in Monastic Studies, Pontificio Ateneo di Sant’Anselmo, Rome
PhD in Theology, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
MA, St. John’s School of Theology
MA, Dallas Theological Seminary
BS in Biblical Studies, Cairn University
Fr. Peters joined Nashotah House in 2018 and oversees the annual James Lloyd Breck Conference on Monasticism and the Church and teaches courses in monasticism and ascetical theology. His research interests include the history and theology of Christian monasticism, the history of Christian (esp. monastic) theology, and ascetical theology. He has presented papers regularly at the International Congress on Medieval Studies and the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting. His published articles have appeared in the American Benedictine Review, Cistercian Studies Quarterly, Tjurunga: An Australasian Benedictine Review, and the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, alongside articles in other peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. His most recently published books are Thomas à Kempis: His Life and Spiritual Theology (Cascade Books, 2021) and The Monkhood of All Believers: The Monastic Foundation of Christian Spirituality (Baker Academic, 2018).
Fr. Peters is also Professor of Medieval and Spiritual Theology in the Torrey Honors College of Biola University, and a Visiting Scholar at the Von Hügel Institute, St Edmund’s College in the University of Cambridge. In the past, he has also served as a visiting professor at St. John’s School of Theology. He serves (since 2012) as rector of the Anglican Church of the Epiphany in La Mirada, California. Ordained in 2009 in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), he served from 2009-2012 in part-time ministry at the Diocese of Western Anglicans’ All Saints Cathedral, Long Beach, and until 2020 as a diocesan examining chaplain. Prior to his Anglican ordination he was a Baptist minister, serving parishes in Minnesota and Ontario, Canada. He is currently a member of the ACNA-Roman Catholic dialogue and the ACNA’s Monastic Communities Task Force. Until July 2022, he will serve as the first non-monastic, non-Roman Catholic president of the American Benedictine Academy.
Fr. Peters is a proud Virginian who loves to travel and read, especially nineteenth-century Russian fiction (Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov) and the twentieth-century French novelists Georges Bernanos and François Mauriac. He also enjoys the poetry of John Donne, George Herbert, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Fr. Peters’ hobbies include running, home improvement projects and watching films with his family. He was married to Christina in 1994, and they have two sons, Brendan and Nathanael.
In progress: Medieval Monastic Theology: Tasting and Seeing the Goodness of God. This book will adopt the methodological, categorical heuristic of Jean Leclercq (“monastic theology” vs. “scholastic theology”) to investigate in depth the riches of medieval monastic theology. The book will do so chronologically, by focusing on important medieval monastic theologians, such as Peter Damian, Bernard of Clairvaux, Julian of Norwich and Denis the Carthusian.
In progress: An Anglican ascetical theology that begins with the Stoic tradition of philosophy as a way of life, moving through the patristic (esp. Clement of Alexandria) and medieval eras, culminating in the Anglican tradition. Given that the foundation of ascetical theology is a robust anthropology and theology of grace, the book will be a combination of both constructive theology and Christian history.
In progress: A history of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century monasticism (especially the Carthusians, the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine, Augustinian Canons and English solitaries) focusing on non-traditional, non-historic patterns. It will make use of a collection of published but untranslated semi-religious apologies from northern Europe alongside lesser-known texts from Jean Gerson and Gabriel Biel.
In progress: A collection of translations, with commentary, of monastic treatises of Thomas à Kempis that is tied into general patterns of Thomas’ conception of imitatio and interiority.
In progress: A study of the Conferences and Institutes of John Cassian and how they have been employed throughout Christian monastic history. The Rule of St. Benedict legislates that Cassian’s Conferences are to be read regularly at mealtime in his monasteries. This book will examine how and if that has happened.
Editor, Becoming a Community of Disciples: Guidelines from Abbot Benedict and Bishop Basil (Sacred Roots Spiritual Classics 2). Upland, IN: Samuel Morris Publications, forthcoming.
Thomas à Kempis: His Life and Spiritual Theology. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2021.
“Institutionalizing Theology: A. B. Goulden and the Community of Reparation to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,” Anglican and Episcopal History 89/2 (2020): 143-163.
Editor, The Monastic Call of Every Christian. Nashotah, WI: Nashotah House Press, 2019.
The Monkhood of All Believers: The Monastic Foundation of Christian Spirituality. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2018.
The Story of Monasticism: Retrieving an Ancient Tradition for Contemporary Spirituality (Baker Academic, 2015)
Reforming the Monastery: Protestant Theologies of Religious Life (Cascade Books, 2014)
Peter of Damascus: Byzantine Monk and Spiritual Theologian (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2011)
“Poetic Precursors and a Postscript to Bernard of Clairvaux’s Apologia ad Guilelmum abbatem,” Tjurunga: An Australasian Benedictine Review, forthcoming.
“Joseph (Fr. Ignatius) Leycester Lyne (1837-1908) and Revival of Monasticism in the Anglican Communion,” in Hugh Feiss and Maureen O’Brien, eds., A Benedictine Reader II: 1530–1930. Collegeville, MN: Cistercian Publications, forthcoming.
“The ‘inner activity of reason’: The Uniqueness of Russian Thought and Married Monks,” American Benedictine Review, forthcoming.
“An ‘eccentric genius’: (Athanasius) Francis Diedrich Wackerbarth and the Re-introduction of Monasticism into the Church of England,” American Benedictine Review 71 (2020): 313-330.
“A Call for Evangelical Monasticism,” Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care 10.2 (2017): 248-264.
“A ‘pretensed and counterfeit holiness’ or Sowers of ‘spiritual things’?: John Jewel and Thomas Harding on Monasticism,” Downside Review 134.1-2 (2016): 11-24.
“The Journey of Our Life: Dante as a Spiritual Theologian of Grace,” Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care 9 (2016): 98-117.
“John Henry Newman’s Theology of the Monastic/Religious Life as a Means to Holiness,” Newman Studies Journal 10.2 (Fall 2013): 7-17.