This book presents a broad sociological perspective on the contemporary issues facing Christian monasticism. Since the founding work of Max Weber, the sociology of monasticism has received little attention. However, the field is now being revitalized by some new research. Focusing on Christian monks and nuns, the contributors explore continuity and discontinuity with the past in what superficially might appear a monolithic tradition. Contributors speak not only about monasticism in Europe and the United States but also in Africa and Latin America, a different landscape where the question of recruitment does not figure among issues considered as problematic.