Alex Klaushofer Hidden Hermits: 21st century seekers of solitude The Secret Life of God Book 4, Hermes Books, 2016
“The hermit – that strange, solitary figure – is generally thought to belong to the past. Yet in this surprising piece of reportage, Alex Klaushofer reveals how solitary spirituality is alive and well in Britain today. She visits a hilltop hermitage to interview a hermit of some forty years’ standing and uncovers a network of modern solitaries seeking silence in the everyday.
Hidden Hermits is the fourth in a series of short travelogues exploring how faith is evolving in twenty-first century Britain. Each can be read as a standalone piece, but the material in all of them can be found in The Secret Life of God, a full-length book which chronicles how, in an age when institutional religion is on the decline, people are increasingly describing themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’.”
“Hidden Hermits features a rare interview with a hermit of the old-fashioned variety – he’s lived on a hilltop for decades, doesn’t like speaking to journalists and yearned for solitude even as young monk. It also chronicles the rise of a new kind of solitary in 21st-century Britain, uncovering a little-known network of modern people combining silence and solitude with ordinary life, without the requirements of an institution.”
Hidden Hermits is an extract from Alex Klaushofer The Secret Life of God: A journey through Britain Hermes Books, 2015 – see http://alexklaushofer.com/author-2
“The Secret Life of God is a kind of spiritual investigation into twenty-first century Britain. The book chronicles how, in an age when institutional religion is on the decline, people are finding new ways of believing and belonging, and puts the faces and places to the trend in which people are increasingly describing themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’.
Part travelogue, part reportage, the book reveals the Benedictine nuns striving to establish a start-up community, the Sufis exploiting the spiritual possibilities of sound and the Druids forging a relationship with nature. Interwoven with a powerful narrative of loss and belonging, it is both a deeply personal book and one which tells a wider story about our evolving relationship with place and meaning.
A series of standalone short ebooks, featuring material from The Secret Life of God aimed at those who would appreciate a short read about particular subjects, will be published over the summer of 2016.”
A related book, also extracted from The Secret Life of God, is The New Monastics: Experiments in contemplation The Secret Life of God Book 3 Hermes Books, 2016
“While traditional monasticism is on the decline, the rise of new religious communities shows that there is still a hunger for the contemplative life. In a piece of reportage which reveals how the life of the spirit is rooted in place, Alex Klaushofer visits two groups who are pioneering modern monasticism: a Benedictine start-up and an ecumenical community following in the steps of Bonhoeffer.”