About the Book
Diana Leafe Christian's new book, Finding Community, subtitled "How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community," and with a Foreword by Richard Heinberg, came out in May, 2007 from New Society Publishers. Finding Community is a guide to help readers research, visit, and evaluate each potential new community in terms of their own long-term social, spiritual, and financial well-being. It offers case studies, anecdotes, and a "What It Costs" sample comparison chart to give a sense of the wide range of joining costs. It includes important questions to ask (of community members and of yourself), signs of healthy (and not-so-healthy) community, financial & legal considerations, common pitfalls to avoid.
It also describes the benefits of community living, 10 common fears of joining one, and an overview of the many different kinds of community one can join: ecovillages, cohousing neighborhoods, collective group households, housing co-ops, rural homesteading communities, conference & retreat centers, Chistian communities, spiritual communities, and income-sharing communes. (See Table of Contents, below.)
Blurbs and Reviews
What some ecovillage activists and authors have said about the book:
"Thoughtful, thorough, and engaging, and enlivened by stories from the trenches of real community life. . . . a must-read for anyone seriously seeking community."
—Liz Walker, cofounder and director, EcoVillage at Ithaca; author, EcoVillage at Ithaca: Pioneering Sustainable Community
"Open-harted and hard-headed in equal measure — and with a delicious sense of humor."
— Jonathan Dawson, president, Global Ecovillage Network; author, Ecovillages
"Like having an explorer's compass and a roll of charts under your arm as you embark upon unknown waters. All the more important to learn these essentials before you're out at sea!"
— Richard Register, author, Ecocities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature; president, Ecocity Builders
"Offers an amazingly knowledgeable perspective, warmly sympathetic but sometimes wryly humorous toward both communities and those who visit and join them."
—Ernest Callenbach, author, Ecotopia, and Ecotopia Emerging
"This stunning overview of ecovillages and intentional communities is not only a terrific read, but abounds with essential, profoundly important information for anyone seeking more community and a sense of belonging in their lives."
—Joan Medlicott, author of The Covington Ladies series
Table of Contents for Finding Community
Section 1: Communities: An Overview
1. Why Community?
2. Ten Most Common Fears about Joining a Community
3. Community Living Day-to-Day
5. Cohousing Communitiies
6. Urban Communities: Group Households and Housing Co-ops
7. Rural Homesteading Communities, Conference and Retreat Centers
8. Spiritual Communities
9. Christian Communities
10. Income-Sharing Communes
Section 2: Researching
11. What Does It Cost?
12. What Does it Take to Live in Community?
13. The Communities Directory, the Internet, and You -- Researching Communities
14. Your Criteria for Communities to Visit
Section 3: Visiting
15. My Marathon Tour of Communities (reprinted from Communities magazine)
16. Planning Your Visits
17. Excerpts from a Community Seeker's Journal (reprinted from Communities magazine)
18. How to Be a Great Guest (and Make the Most of Your Experience)
19. Seriously Seeking Community (reprinted from Communities magazine)
20. Evaluating Your Visits (And Debunking Some Assumptions and Expectations)
Section 4: Joining
21. Taking a Second Look
22. Choosing Your Community: The "Insider's Guide"
23. The Membership Process
24. Entering Community Gracefully
25. "The longest, most expensive, personal growth workshop you will ever take!"
Appendix A: Sample Community Membership Documents Appendix B: Can Living in Community Make a Difference in the Age of Peak Oil?