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This article argues that all conceptions of Christian distinctiveness are culturally rooted in ways which necessarily determine conceptions of and approaches to formation and discipleship. No argument shall be made for a particular vision of Christian distinctiveness. Rather, the focus is on how distinctiveness itself is understood, constructed and determines accounts which seek to order Christian lives qua Christian. Recent presentations of Christian distinctiveness are summarized via engagement with James K.A. Smith. Schleiermacher’s understanding of Christian distinctiveness, rooted in nineteenth century cultural trends and assumptions, is employed as a juxtaposition demonstrating the culturally rootedness of both approaches to formation and discipleship presenting a clearer picture of the assumptions carried in many contemporary calls for Christian distinctiveness. The final section builds on Kathryn Tanner’s relational understanding of distinctiveness, arguing for an approach that determines Christian distinctiveness collaboratively in recognition of different and multi-layered cultural contexts.

In: Ecclesiology
In: Golden Calf Traditions in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
In: Syriac Theology: Past and Present
This volume takes us back to the roots of Christianity and exemplifies the significance of Syriac Theology for our time.
Bringing together articles by scholars from diverse disciplines, this volume aims at a deeper understanding of the legacy, importance, and challenges of Syriac Theology. The articles in the first part of the volume focus on the biblical, exegetical, and christological tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church. The articles in the second part of the volume explore the dialogical intertextuality between Syriac Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and the Quran.