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Abstract

In Catholic education, three partners collaborate in the education of the next generation: parents, school and church. Since Vatican ii, this cooperation is focused on an integral education that comprises the whole human being, that takes shape in an evangelically inspired school climate which partakes in the mission of the church. Post-conciliar documents of the Congregation of Catholic Education recognise the fading of parental participation, relating this decline to secularisation within multiple worldwide societal developments. In the congregational texts however, the parental voice is barely heard. This article provides insight into that space. Based on qualitive research among parents with children attending Catholic primary schools in the strongly secularised Netherlands, it clarifies the challenges that young parents meet, how these affect the perspectives of Catholic and non-Catholic parents on Catholic education and how the parental religious and secularised backgrounds influence their vision on Catholic-educational partnership.

Open Access
In: Ecclesial Practices

Abstract

The study of Lived Catholicism seeks to step away from the normative forces of institutional expectations to explore Catholicism as it is found in the practices of daily life. It draws on the foundations of lived religion in recognising the importance of improvisation, negotiation, resistance and subversion in everyday religiosity. It foregrounds the voices and experiences of ordinary people to explore the places of Catholicism in their lives. However, if this emerging term is to find its place in the academy, it must stand up to rigorous critique from across the disciplines. Here specialists from the fields of sociology, anthropology, history and theology discuss the potential of Lived Catholicism to generate new categories of thinking in the study of Catholicism.

Open Access
In: Ecclesial Practices

Abstract

This paper contributes to the scant ethnographic literature dedicated to understanding the phenomenon of re-sacralisation. The article appraises lay Catholics’ lived experiences of everyday religion, charting the demographic dynamics and social and spiritual demands of those who are revitalising public expressions of Catholicism on the ground. Through theoretical frameworks that foreground memory, identity and gender, the fate and work of lay Catholic organisations is explored vis-à-vis priestly notions of faith. The current return and reinvention of Catholic traditions in Spain is explored through ethnographic study, seeking the reasons for the return and reinvention of Catholic festive traditions and asking what this phenomenon means when the faithful devise their own modes of devotion and faith-based identity away from priestly demands.

Open Access
In: Ecclesial Practices
Author:

Abstract

Lived Catholicism proposes a new way to study being Catholic. Through a focus on individual experiences and practices, it seeks to unpack ‘what sorts of people those who are baptised Catholic are becoming through their ordinary practices’. Although many studies of Catholicism tell us what Catholics practice and believe, far fewer tell us why. This study of the Lived Catholicism of teenagers in the UK will explore what motivates them to go to Mass, how the Mass going relates to their wider Catholicity, and the surprising gaps that emerge. Connecting these experiences to those of previous generations shows how the methods of Lived Catholicism can begin to answer questions not previously asked.

Open Access
In: Ecclesial Practices

Abstract

The Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England and the British Methodist Church have retained or restored the diaconate. These diaconates remain distinctive and capable of further change. This article uses a receptive ecumenical approach to ask what the Roman Catholic Church can learn or receive with integrity from the diaconate in the Church of England and British Methodism. The first section examines the reassessment of the diaconate of service by John N. Collins. The next two sections explore specific learning opportunities from the Church of England Distinctive Diaconate and the British Methodist Diaconal Order. The fourth section examines the way that British Methodism has become alert to the possibilities of unhealthy notions of diaconal service. The final section explores work towards the interchangeability of deacons, concluding that, in the development of the diaconate, the current historical moment provides opportunities for ecclesial learning and perhaps a step towards visible unity.

Open Access
In: Ecclesiology

Abstract

As the Roman Catholic Church aspires ‘to embrace a synodal way’, some old questions about its ecclesial vision return. One such question is the equality of all the baptised within the church. This question is particularly fraught because of the church’s long history of viewing the itself as a society of unequals, its hierarchical structures, and its culture of top-down authority modelled on pre-modern monarchical conceptions of society. This paper argues that not only must the church face the implications of accepting the equality of the baptised as a basis of its praxis, but also that it should embrace that equality as part of its witness and service to the world. Thus, it must not simply take equality to heart and express it in its rituals, but must create a ‘theology of human equality’ which then becomes part of its preaching.

Open Access
In: Ecclesiology

Abstract

This case study of the presbyteral ordination service of the Orthodox Church of Armenia aims to uncover some aspects of the Armenian ecclesiological vision that lie buried under the neoscholastically-framed manuals of theology. By analyzing liturgical texts and comparing them with two theology manuals that are still influential, the paper, in the spirit of ressourcement, challenges the unexamined presuppositions of the handbooks through which ordination liturgy is currently understood. Furthermore, by focusing on the earlier and distinct aspects of the ordination liturgy, the paper excavates some neglected ecclesiological perspectives. In particular, the ressourcement approach allows us to rediscover some pneumatological aspects that can be a valuable theological resource for current ecclesiological discussions.

Open Access
In: Ecclesiology

Abstract

In this study, we examine which narratives were put forward by key figures of the Dutch reformed pietist community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyse sermons and news articles from the period March–November 2020. We find, as expected, a dominant narrative of COVID-19 as God’s judgment, a calling to repentance and an event which emphasizes the need for prayer. Although the pandemic was seen as a call by God, the systematic origin of the virus (God/Satan/natural phenomena) remained rather ambiguous. More often it was stated that ‘everything falls under His providence’. The earthly origin of the virus remained mostly unaddressed, as well as eschatological interpretations, contrary to our expectations. We conclude that the main narrative is a general message of repentance, rather than a concrete theological application to the dynamic of the virus, its origins and its subsequent spread. In some cases, virus ‘jargon’ even was used as a tool just to further accentuate general tendencies of reformed pietist theology.

Open Access
In: Journal of Empirical Theology

Abstract

Restorative justice, aimed at restoring human relations instead of just punishing offenders, is often defended with reference to biblical values like reconciliation, forgiveness, and mercy. Advocates of retributivism, which is the philosophy that underlies the practice of punishing perpetrators with the sole goal of inflicting hardship on them, regularly ridicule such defenses. In response we will not directly defend restorative justice, but critically inquire in the main theoretical arguments with which advocates of retributivism seek to rationalize their view. We point out the weaknesses of these arguments and why we believe that restorative procedures can do much better in serving the goals of (criminal) justice.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author:

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic presented enormous challenges for secular and religious institutions as well as religion scholars engaged in the critical study of religion. The unique opportunities for scholars of religion include questions about the very nature of our academic work. Inclusive of scholarly research and dissemination, along with the administrative work and service that facilitates this, is academic work to draw from the rich wellspring of the traditions we study and represent, or does it neglect them in the daily affairs of our work? With a particular regional focus, and despite traditional academic disciplinary conventions within the critical study of religion, this article argues that religious traditions and the critical appropriations of their wisdom and ongoing actions provide an important reckoning with the reality of the ever-changing and often terrible conditions in the contemporary world. They provide a critical feature of what it means to cultivate an ecology of ethical responsibility and care.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Public Theology