‘Are We Making Progress?’ A Residency with Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor's theme will ask if history can be seen as the site of a slow growth in ethical vision. Dare we say we are even getting better?


17 - 22 May, 2022
Each year some teachers who are friends of the WCCM spend an extended time at Bonnevaux. They may come to retreat, to write and share the life of the resident community. For a week they offer a more informal conversation with the members and guests present which may also become an online session. The culmination of their residency is a retreat or seminar which they lead as an in-person event sometimes also broadcast online live. Charles Taylor’s contribution to modern philosophy and self-understanding has been brilliantly diverse and influential for a whole generation. His great works Sources of the Self and A Secular Age and collection of essays reflect a broad, deep mastery of culture, religion, political theory and the history of ideas. Throughout his life, his philosophy has been enriched by his participation in politics as well as by his personal faith.

Charles’ theme will ask if history can be seen as the site of a slow growth in ethical vision. Dare we say we are even getting better?

The smaller space of our selfish interests has to learn to relate to the vaster space where others matter apart from ourselves.

But how does this happen?

We see today how democratic societies can slip into wall-building and aggression against those who are threatening simply because they are different or needy. Love of country can lead to hatred of others.

Are we nevertheless slowly arriving at a common ethic that reflects the great truths of the wisdom traditions which will allow us to ‘lay down the burden of hatred’? And in this slow growth are religions being re-imagined, less as closed systems and more as paths of transformation?

The interaction of religion and politics is part of the changing theatre of our world

…Global warming, artificial intelligence, erosion of trust, clashing power-groups.

How will the shift of religion towards unifying interiority influence the outcome? And what is the role of meditators in all this?

This event takes place at Bonnevaux and offers an opportunity to discover the rich cultural and historical French and European heritage of the 12th-century Abbaye de Bonnevaux, as well as to explore the varied and natural beauty of the land which we cultivate as a model of ecological responsibility.

ARRIVAL : Tuesday 17 May, check-in : 14:00 – 17:00

DEPARTURE : Sunday 22 May, 14:00

CONTRIBUTION : 775 euros for the retreat and full room and board

The prices reflect the need to achieve self sufficiency. Therefore if you’re able to give a little more we would be very grateful. If you need a concession please let us know. We do not turn anybody away for lack of resource. 

About Bonnevaux

Bonnevaux is the spiritual home for The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM). Our hope is that everyone who visits Bonnevaux will be touched by the spirit of peace and a deeper experience of silence.

"A very deep and marvellous experience. I will never forget the love and peace I experienced at Bonnevaux . . . . during work and prayer, during reflections, during conversations . . . . I could feel that meditation creates community and that Bonnevaux is a community of love."
Pia, meditator
Meditator, Germany


The retreat contribution shown includes the cost of the retreat and full room and board.


— Please ensure you have travel insurance in place as we cannot refund cancelled travel for any reason.
— If you cancel your Bonnevaux booking up to 30 days before the event starts, you will be refunded the full cost of the event.  Cancellations occurring within 30 days of the event start will be offered a voucher for a future event. Bonnevaux reserves the right to cancel events at any point – cancellations occurring within 30 days prior to the event start date will be subject to the voucher refund policy only.
Membership fee is paid once per year, valid strictly from Jan – Dec.
** by French law you must be a ‘member‘ of the charity (association ABP) Abbaye de Bonnevaux – Centre Pour la Paix in order to participate at an on-the-ground event at Bonnevaux – 86370 Marçay, France.
Membership is non-binding. It simply means that you are invited to attend the annual general meeting if you wish and that you may receive information about our events during the year.
The Abbey of Bonnevaux is the spiritual home of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) which includes a Conference and Retreat Centre dedicated to peace. The on-the-ground activities of the Abbey are organized under the responsibility of l’Association Abbaye de Bonnevaux – Centre pour le Paix (ABP).  The Association, which is governed by the French law of 1st July 1901, is registered in Poitiers under the reference RNA: W863007299.
Address : Bonnevaux, 86370 Marçay, France.
Phone number : 06 33 43 71 71 / 06 61 96 57 74.
José Pype (President of the Association); Giovanni Felicioni (Associate Director and Programme Manager)
Site hosting: Flywheel

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