In the era of 'post-Christendom', how can church as a sociological reality be switched on to the destructive dangers, yet constructive possibilities, of 'power' flowing in and around its community? Attuned to the current distrust of church power, this book creatively works out responses that could turn painful censure into a re-visioning of church power relations, helped by neglected critical studies. The approach exposes a complexity to power, and filters that insight into a theology of church. The book shows how lessons are available for a religious community from post-modern philosopher Michel Foucault and from recent feminism. The topic of power has universal importance in the study of religion, though the response to analysis and critique in this book is drawn specifically from Christian sources. Kearsley concludes with an exploration for a future renovated, self-critical, authentic and growing community, sensitive to power while remaining in line with classic Christianity.
This volume was originally prepared for the World Conference on Church, Community and State held in Oxford in 1937. Its aim was to understand the nature of the vital conflict between the Christian faith and the secular tendencies of the early twentieth century, particularly in relation to education. The book also analyses the responsibilities of the Church in this struggle.
Release on 2012-12-20 | by Anderson H. M. Jeremiah
Author: Anderson H. M. Jeremiah
Pubpsher: A&C Black
This volume presents a detailed ethnographic study of rural Paraiyar communities in South India, focusing on their religions and cultural identity. Formerly known as Dalits, or Untouchables, these are a largely socially marginalised group living within a dynamic and complex social matrix dominated by the caste system and its social and religious implications in India. Through examining Paraiyar Christian communities, the author provides a comprehensive understanding of Paraiyar religious worldviews within the dominant Hindu religious worldview. In contrast to existing research, this volume places the Paraiyars within their wider social context, ascribed and achieved identity, religious symbolism and ritual and negotiation of social boundaries. In arguing that the Paraiyars help us to understand religion as 'lived', the author removes the concept 'religion' from the reified forms it so often obtains in textbooks. Instead, Jeremiah demonstrates that it is only in local and specific contexts, as opposed to essentialised notions, that 'religion' either makes any sense or that theories concerning it can be tested.
Liberal Anglican Theories of the State Between the Wars
Author: Matthew Grimley
Pubpsher: Clarendon Press
This book traces the influence of Anglican writers on the political thought of inter-war Britain, and argues that religion continued to exert a powerful influence on political ideas and allegiances in the 1920s and 1930s. It counters the prevailing assumption of historians that inter-war political thought was primarily secular in content, by showing how Anglicans like Archbishop William Temple made an active contribution to ideas of community and the welfare state (a term which Temple himself invented). Liberal Anglican ideas of citizenship, community and the nation continued to be central to political thought and debate in the first half of the 20th century. Grimley traces how Temple and his colleagues developed and changed their ideas on community and the state in response to events like the First World War, the General Strike and the Great Depression. For Temple, and political philosophers like A. D. Lindsay and Ernest Barker, the priority was to find a rhetoric of community which could unite the nation against class consciousness, poverty, and the threat of Hitler. Their idea of a Christian national community was central to the articulation of ideas of 'Englishness' in inter-war Britain, but this Anglican contribution has been almost completely overlooked in recent debate on twentieth-century national identity. Grimley also looks at rival Anglican political theories put forward by conservatives such as Bishop Hensley Henson and Ralph Inge, dean of St Paul's. Drawing extensively on Henson's private diaries, it uncovers the debates which went on within the Church at the time of the General Strike and the 1927-8 Prayer Book crisis. The book uncovers an important and neglected seam of popular political thought, and offers a new evaluation of the religious, political and cultural identity of Britain before the Second World War.
Jesus never intended the church to become an institution; he intended it to be a people of power, transforming the world. Power is the capacity, ability, and the willingness to act. Most people and systems use power to dominate and control, but others have used it relationally to liberate, transform, and even save. Built around a biblical exploration of shalom, Building a People of Power explains how local churches can use power to transform their communities and their cities. Detailed power strategies are presented enabling churches to build productive relationships, to address the primary issues of people they serve, and to develop strong leaders, faithful organizations, and redeemed neighborhoods that live out shalom.
What Happens When a Church Seeks All God Has to Offer?
Author: Douglas Banister
You don't have to head overseas to find a war. In the church, the rhetorical cross-fire between evangelical and "spirit-filled" Christians over the past hundred years has been withering. "No scriptural foundations," is the charge evangelicals have leveled at the charismatics. "No spiritual power," the latter have countered. The boundaries are clear. The positions are taken -- and guarded. Either you're a Word person or a Power person. Today, though, such black-and-white, either-or thinking is giving way to the liberty and promise of a Word and Power church. Pastor Doug Banister shows why we cannot afford to settle for less. It's time to bury our differences -- which are largely artificial -- and discover the incredible potential that arises when evangelicals combine their strengths with Pentecostals and charismatics. Taking a long, careful, and honest look at the Scriptures, at church history, and at the state of the church and the world today, Pastor Banister reveals why Pentecostalism and evangelicalism need each other. Each tradition possesses strengths that are essential to a balanced, life-changing faith. The Word and Power Church shows how these "two mighty rivers" add to, rather than subtract from, each other. At the cusp of a new millennium, they are in fact merging into one river. Word and Power churches may experiences turbulence where the waters meet, but they teem with life, hope, faith, and power to reach a desperate world with the Gospel. Filled with personal anecdotes, this fascinating, thought-provoking, and candid book supplies the why-tos and how-tos of a Word-and-Power approach. What you won't find is preferential treatment of one view over another. What you will find are thoughtful biblical insights that will challenge you and inspire you. And you'll discover practical guidance for charting your own course -- whether as an individual or as a church -- toward a faith that embraces the truth of the Word and the power of the Spirit. As a solidly evangelical seminary graduate and pastor, Banister admits to having disdained charismatics. That is, until meticulous study of God’s Word convinced him that miraculous gifts of tongues, healing, and prophecy are indeed valid for today. As he details his “journey beyond categories,” Banister explores the reasons for the age-old rift between the two camps and the ways in which healing is taking place in new “Word and Power” churches all over America. When evangelicals and charismatics bring together the best from each tradition, he has discovered that the result is a strong, unified body. Word and Power churches affirm the authority of Scripture and encourage the propheticembrace of those who pray in a spiritual language, pursue obedience to Christ, edify the believer and evangelize the seeker, heal the sick and comfort the suffering. The Word and Power Church will speak to Christians everywhere who want to walk in both the integrity of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit.
From the time of Martin Luther's writing of On War Against the Turk in 1529 to American Lutheran military chaplains serving in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Lutheranism has had a symbiotic relationship with Islam in the Middle East, framed across cultural and religious borders. There have been those who have crossed these borders to engage in mission and dialogue. In Piety, Politics, and Power, David Grafton examines the origins of the American Lutheran missionary movement in the Middle East, with a focus on its encounter with Muslims and the varied Lutheran theological responses toward Islam. The narrative is placed within historical contexts to provide an overarching background of Middle Eastern history and Christian-Muslim Relations. The survey covers Lutheran missionary communities in Persia, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jerusalem and the West Bank, including the work of the Lutherans working for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missionaries, the Anglican Church Missionary Society, the Lutheran Orient Mission, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Whether enthusiastic Pietists seeking the conversion of Muslims and Jews; cautious theologians in dialogue with Islam, Judaism, or Oriental Orthodoxy; or social activists working on behalf of refugees in Egypt and the West Bank, Grafton argues that these Christian missionaries were all enmeshed in the politics of the communities in which they lived, and either contributed to or suffered from the realities of Middle Eastern and international politics. Given the current reality of Pax Americana in the Middle East, the author asks the driving question about the role of American Lutheran missions and Lutheran-Middle Eastern Muslim dialogue in the age of American power in the Middle East.