Edited by Amy M. Austin and Mark D. Johnston
Contributors are: Roberta Albrecht, José Aragüés Aldaz, Linda Báez Rubí, Josep Batalla, Pamela Beattie, Henry Berlin, John Dagenais, Mary Franklin-Brown, Alexander Ibarz, Annemarie C. Mayer, Rafael Ramis Barceló, Josep E. Rubio, and Gregory B. Stone.
Māori and a Pentecostal Theology of Social Engagement
Michael J. Frost
The Politics of Divine Intervention
John A. Williams
The author has previously argued that in recent times the mainstream churches in the uk have tended to co-opt elements of a postmodern analysis of contemporary culture in support of a mission strategy focused on presentational innovations and limited structural adjustments, without allowing the implications radically to challenge ecclesiological or theological foundations. This article conducts an experiment in pursuing the logic of a postmodern discourse about the Church to bring its more radical implications into view: it begins to sketch out an alternative view of church as an 'ecclesianarchy', the distinctive purpose of which is to become a socio-cultural site for the symbolisation and enactment of the impossible. The proposal is explored with reference to examples of contemporary innovations in ecclesial praxis, and attention is drawn to critical questions such churches will need to attend to in the interests of furthering their evolution in a time of instability and change.
Henk de Roest and Simon Hill
Samuel Tranter and David Bartram Torrance
This article begins by introducing recent work by Michael Banner, who advocates the use of social anthropology generally (not just the anthropology of Christianity) for the Christian ethics of everyday life. His use of ethnography in Christian theological ethics is then situated in relation to recent discussions in ecclesiology and ethnography. Situated thus, Banner’s work forms the springboard for a brief discussion of what is at stake for theological ethics in turning to ethnographic research. While some dangers are highlighted, a way forward is offered for the fruitful use of ethnographic research in this field.
A study of congregational life has been illuminated by Christian relational epistemology. A shared Christian identity is fundamental to this research methodology, as relational epistemology is treated as an approach grounded in the relations of the Trinity, from which all Christian ontology derives. The congregation is shown to be a network of relationships and the relationship that the researcher establishes with its members is integral to the knowledge about its nature. This approach has also provided insight into the relation between secular theory and theology in the study of congregations and the ethical concerns arising from insider research into situations in which one has pastoral responsibility for research participants. The paper shows that some understanding of the nature of the congregation is not accessible to those who do not participate in its life and so recommends an epistemological method for all ministers, lay or ordained, who wish to study their congregations.
Andrew Village and Judith A. Muskett
Using a range of qualitative data, this article presents a case study of changing episcopal roles in the Diocese of Truro, necessitated by its bishops’ involvement in the innovative Accompanied Ministry Development Programme (amd). This style of engagement foregrounds the activity specified in the ordinal of ‘getting to know the people and being known by them’. Findings raise questions such as whether roles currently undertaken by the bishops could be shared among senior staff and, if not, how the role of bishops could be adjusted to cope with an ongoing commitment to engage with incumbents and parishes across the Diocese on a regular basis. These are questions upon which any diocese may wish to reflect when initiating change that requires direct episcopal support.