Cowshed Revolution Review In Initiatives Of Change Magazine

Cowshed revolution needed for a downwardly mobile capitalism

The Cowshed Revolution by Ray Simpson

Reviewed by Michael Smith

In The Cowshed Revolution, Ray Simpson, an Anglican priest who is the founding guardian of the international community of Aiden and Hilda at Lindisfarne, calls for Christians to be 'downwardly mobile' as an antidote to the ladder-climbing ambition of money-making and materialistic success. He does so as a lead-in to the need for a downwardly mobile capitalism, reaching towards the needs of the poor and the disenfranchised though social enterprises and other social organisations. The need, he says, is for 'a capitalism of conscience'. The book divides neatly into the two sections.

There are of course many stories throughout history of downwardly mobile Christians, from St Francis to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and including Christ’s own example of servant leadership demonstrated through his washing of the feet of the disciples: 'He who would be first must be the willing servant of all.' Simpson tells in brief the stories of other examples, including the desert fathers, St Aiden, and St Martin, the Bishop of Tours, who insisted on living in a wooden hut in a field rather than the bishop’s palace, after whom the church of St Martin in the Fields at Trafalgar Square in London is named.

What makes this book fascinating is the way that Simpson has extrapolated the early example of such saints to draw lessons for today’s consumer culture, in his call for a 'downwardly mobile society'

Posted at 05:41am on 14th June 2012
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