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Author: Clive Pearson

Abstract

Will Storrar makes the case for a glocal public theology arguing that where the practitioner is located matters. The underlying assumption is the need for 'good partners' and the possibility of theologies in one site critically informing another. What needs to be negotiated is the extent to which these 'partnerships' are uneven. The idea of a public theology surfaced in the established centres of the western theological tradition, but how can the categories of a public theology developed in the United States, for example, inform the shape of a comparable theology in Australia? The benefit of exploring this question is that it enables the history and critical scholarship of two locations to be named. For the more solid establishment of a public theology in Australia this is a strategic task, since the term is being used increasingly, but with arguably insufficient attention being paid to meaning, definition and task.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

So often in the evolution of a public theology the focus has fallen upon a concern for audience. Martin Marty’s initial concern for a public church was due to the risk of faith being essentially conceived in private terms and the evident retreat of the (ecumenical) church away from speaking its mind into matters of public importance. In a variation on that type of theme David Ford defined theology’s ‘ecology of responsibility’ as the discipline’s vocation to engage with the three-fold audience of the church, the academy and the public domain. That familiar naming of the three realms of the

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

The very first edition of the International Journal of Public Theology carried articles that set the tone for purpose and direction of this journal. Will Storrar, for instance, had written of how the then present signs of the times were testifying to the glocalized nature of this discipline of public theology. 1 Once public theology had borne the stamp of ‘Made in the USA’ and work in the field in the United States continues to be seminal and critically important. But there was a ‘but’. Storrar had noted that, for diverse reasons, the idea and

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

The globalization of a public theology raises fresh questions for the practice of the discipline. It must of necessity let attention fall on matters to do with setting, context, or situations in life—in other words, the Sitz im Leben of particular expressions of a public theology. These things are not the same from one part of the world to another, one period in time to another. This edition of the International Journal of Public Theology represents an invitation to consider how advocates and practitioners of a public theology engage with such diverse settings. There are implications

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

The definition of what constitutes a public theology is not static. The potential for rival definitions that do different jobs was plainly revealed some time ago in the oft-cited essay by E. Harold Breitenberg: ‘Will the Real Public Theology Please Stand Up?’. In a way which was not foreseen at that time further drivers of change have surfaced. It was anticipated that this should be the case the moment this emerging discipline began to take leave of its North Atlantic roots and become a global flow. The public space, issues and hopes around the globe are not the same: nor

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

The past year has been full of the kind of ‘signs of the times’ to which a public theology responds. The most obvious has been the Covid-19 pandemic which has caught the whole planet in its grip. The storming of the United States’ Capitol on the 6th January 2021 left other democracies around the world stunned. For those of us in Australia the period immediately prior to the arrival of Covid-19 via a cruise ship was preceded by widespread mask-wearing in response to hazardous air, wildlife devastation and unprecedented fires. Now that has been replaced with unprecedented floods and all

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/156973210X510848 International Journal of Public Theology 4 (2010) 269–270 brill.nl/ijpt Editorial Special Issue—Climate Change and the Common Good Clive Pearson Guest Editor The very first issue of this journal referred to the present being a kairos moment. This invocation of the right time was on that occasion designed to draw attention to how the language and aspirations of a public theology were surfacing around the globe. They were no longer being confined to the United States or indeed the United Kingdom. This theme was in the throes of becoming a global flow. It

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

The discipline of a public theology has frequently shown its concern for audience, issues and objectives. In these unfolding times the case could be made for it to learn from the widening range of discourse surrounding the Anthropocene. That term itself has been taken from the field of geology—and, in particular, stratigraphy. Its employment has widened, though, to include the social sciences as well as, rather perhaps more urgently, an Earth system science. These manifold disciplines mediate the concerns of the Anthropocene through a diversity of genres ranging from the complex scientific reports and projections through to the philosophy of

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

One of the abiding concerns of a public theology is how do religious theme and practices enter into the pluralist public space. It is a conundrum which can take on several forms. Sometimes the biblical and theological reference point is hidden in history and scarcely even implicit in the present. Sometimes there is a strongly expressed theology but it is unable to secure the right to be heard in the public domain. The opposite can also be true: a strong activism without much of the way in an expressed theology can be persuasive. And then there is the role of

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Clive Pearson

This particular edition negotiates a fine line between what is familiar and to be expected in a public theology and that which can surprise. The narratives that unfold remind us of the role played by high profile theologians who have often been cited in the history and ongoing practice of public theology. The pressing concern becomes how might the work of these distinguished scholars be employed by an emerging new generation wrestling with their companion issues. Hidden away in what is familiar is the occasional surprise. What is found set alongside such are newer voices from unexpected quarters, both in

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In: International Journal of Public Theology