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  • Author or Editor: Bård Eirik Hallesby Norheim x
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Abstract

The feeling of boredom during a speech is not a new phenomenon, but in a late modern information society this challenge is intensified. This article explores what sort of rhetorical opening strategy which may ‘charge’ a sermon with an appropriate suspense to help the congregation to remain attentive throughout the sermon. The article analyses a selective, digital sample of video recorded confirmation sermons from Church of Norway confirmation services in 2020. Drawing on theories on suspense, attention, and boredom, the article uses classical rhetorical theory on the different styles of speech to suggest three possible rhetorical opening strategies for a preacher who wants to ‘charge’ a (confirmation) sermon with a relevant suspense, that of the teacher, the poet, and the prophet.

In: Journal of Youth and Theology
In: Ecclesial Practices

This article explores the ecclesiological and missiological context of post-soviet Estonia. Drawing from the perspective of the evangelical church in this nation, the author proposes a paradigm and perception shift is required to help the church re-imagine its future as a missional communitas. This discussion makes use of sociological and missiological notions of liminality to present a vision for a church that embraces the transitional nature of contemporary society and in particular the uncertain futures of nations such as Estonia. Having discussed these issues, the author presents three pen portraits of visions for the church and youth ministry in this context.

In: Journal of Youth and Theology
In: Journal of Youth and Theology

This article investigates what kind of vision should be cultivated when studying the church, as the church is the place where the un-knowable, and un-seeable is made known. By drawing upon hermeneutical questions evolving from ecclesiological fieldwork, and recent contributions to the epistemological framework of ecclesiological research (among others Hegstad and McGrath), the article makes a case for developing an ‘apophatic mode’ in ecclesiological research. Utilizing Martin Luther’s epistemological framework in De Servo Aribitrio the article argues that such ecclesiological research, should be understood as a struggle, a tentatio. This struggle is not something external to the being of the church, understood as participation in God, but is actually a mark of the church itself. Fundamentally, ecclesiological reflection as cultivation of theological vision is the cultivation of a dialectic struggle, as the church, the mother of faith, in eschatological perspective is both re(ve)al(ed) and hidden under the cross.

In: Ecclesial Practices

The rationale for a special ministry to and with young people has often been rooted in narratives of culture or developmental psychology. This article argues that the Christian story of the body as it is unfolded in most Christian funeral rituals should be the story that orders youth ministry. Based on an understanding of youth as a phase of transition, a reading of the narrative of the Hunger Games trilogy, ritual theory, and contemporary theological engagements with the body and embodiment, the article argues that youth ministry should be ordered by the Christian story of the body as created, finite and living under the hope of resurrection. Making this story the ritual plot in youth ministry turns youth ministry into a catechesis of hope.

In: Journal of Youth and Theology

Abstract

This article analyses and discusses what constitutes the central difficulty (crux) of a surrogate apology – a corporate apology where a leader apologizes vicariously on behalf of an organization. Starting with a rhetorical analysis of the surrogate apology given by Norwegian mission leaders to children going to mission boarding schools (2009), the article proceeds to evaluate the theological status of such a surrogate apology in the light of forgiveness as a key practice in a theology of missio Dei. Drawing on rhetorical and theological analysis, the article concludes that the central difficulty lies in the aporetic nature of the response. It is therefore essential to acknowledge and address this aporia, even as a theological challenge.

In: Mission Studies