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Stressed Executives Swap Boardrooms for Monastic Cells
Bursfelde is one of 33 Protestant monasteries and seminaries in Germany that switched to the Lutheran denomination during the Reformation and -- after being neglected and forgotten for a long time, in some cases -- are now experiencing something of a renaissance. Frazzled business executives are not the only ones fueling the boom in retreats. Senior Lutheran Church leaders are also rediscovering the monasteries, eager to share in the spirituality and serenity they offer.
The Protestants are taking a page from the book of the Catholic Church, which long ago discovered the marketability of Catholic abbeys such as Maria Laach in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and Andechs in Bavaria. Even the chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop Wolfgang Huber, is touting his church's new approach. Huber calls the monasteries a "treasure," and says that the church should make the most of them....