The aim of this article is to study ecclesiological themes and patterns in material from a structured group conversation in a rural parish in Church of Sweden. The conversation was conducted in relation to a Gospel narrative and the content is analysed in search for expressive ecclesiologies. The concept expressive ecclesiologies is defined in dialogue with Geir Afdal’s model for research on social practices. The analysis shows how the expressive ecclesiologies in the group conversation give a nuanced and rather thick understanding of the purpose and identity of the church in the local context.
Afdal GeirResearching Religious Education as Social Practice (Münster: Waxmann2010) p. 33. This understanding is influenced by Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor’s articulations of the moral dimensions of human identity. ‘There cannot be any understanding of the self without an interpretation of the good. Put in another fashion the agent understands herself in the light of what she considers most important. This means that interpretation the way of trying to understand is the way we come to grips with ourselves as moral agents. […] For research this means that morality cannot be dispensed with: it is not a matter of interest or inclination.’ Afdal Researching p. 26.