This Reader presents a diverse and ecumenical cross-section of ecclesiological statements from across the twenty centuries of the church's existence. It builds on the foundations of early Christian writings, illustrates significant medieval, reformation, and modern developments, and provides a representative look at the robust attention to ecclesiology that characterizes the contemporary period. This collection of readings offers an impressive overview of the multiple ways Christians have understood the church to be both the 'body of Christ' and, at the same time, an imperfect, social and historical institution, constantly subject to change, and reflective of the cultures in which it is found. This comprehensive survey of historical ecclesiologies is helpful in pointing readers to the remarkable number of images and metaphors that Christians have relied upon in describing the church and to the various tensions that have characterized reflection on the church as both united and diverse, community and institution, visible and invisible, triumphant and militant, global and local, one and many. Students, clergy and all interested in Christianity and the church will find this collection an invaluable resource.
More than one person has joked over the years that Evangelical believers do not have an ecclesiology. In one sense, that is absurd: Evangelical churches (especially if you include Pentecostals in that group) are some of the fastest-growing, most vibrant churches in the world. Evangelicals are proclaiming the gospel, praising the Lord, reading the Bible, and loving the poor. But there is a case to be made that the Evangelical devotion to the mission of the church has left Evangelicals with little time to reflect on the church itself. In this collection of essays, first given at annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society, the authors take time to reflect on the nature of the church in an Evangelical context, asking after the way in which it is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
Regarded as the leading text in Christian theology for the last 25 years, Alister E. McGrath’s The Christian Theology Reader is now available in a new 5th edition featuring completely revised and updated content. Brings together more than 350 readings from over 200 sources that chart 2,000 years of Christian history Situates each reading within the appropriate historical and theological context with its own introduction, commentary, and study questions Includes new readings on world Christianity and feminist, liberation, and postcolonial theologies, as well as more selections by female theologians and theologians from the developing world Contains additional pedagogical features, such as new discussion questions and case studies, and a robust website with new videos by the author to aid student learning Designed to function as a stand-alone volume, or as a companion to Christian Theology: An Introduction, 6th edition, for a complete overview of the subject
An Ecclesiology Learned from Conversations in Practice
Author: Clare Watkins
From 2006 to 2011 researchers at Heythrop College and the Oxford Centre for ecclesiology and Practical Theology (OxCEPT, Ripon College Cuddesdon) worked on a theological and action research project: "Action Research – Church and Society (ARCS). 2010 saw the publication of Talking About God in Practice: Theological Action research and Practical Theology (SCM), which presented in an accessible way the work of ARCS and its developing methodology. This turned out to be a landmark study in the praxis of Anglican and Catholic ecclesiology in the UK, showing how theology in these differing contexts interacted with the way in which clergy and congregations lived out their religious convictions. This book is a direct follow up to that significant work, authored by one of the original researchers, providing a systematic analysis of the impact of the "theological action research" methodology and its implications for a contemporary ecclesiology. The book presents an ecclesiology generated from church practice, drawing on scholarship in the field as well as the results of the theological action research undertaken. It achieves this by including real scenarios alongside the academic discourse. This combination allows the author to tease out the complex relationship between the theory and the reality of church. Addressing the need for a more developed theological and methodological account of the ARCS project, this is a book that will be of interest to scholars interested not only Western lived religion, but ecclesiology and theology more generally too.
In The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today, respected biblical scholar Everett Ferguson presents a genuine biblical theology of the church. By systematically examining the New Testament's teaching on the existence, meaning, and purpose of the church, providing responsible coverage of the traditional topics in ecclesiology, and carefully grounding ecclesiology in the person and work of Christ, Ferguson unveils a comprehensive model of the church that is both biblically centered and relevant to a world on the verge of the twenty-first century.
Seeking the Church intends to introduce students, teachers and inquirers to key themes and dynamics in being the Church. In a time of significant change and search for new forms of Christian community the book locates such developments within the wider Christian tradition of theological reflection on the doctrine of the Church.
A Reformed Ecclesiology in Filipino American Perspective
Author: Neal D. Presa
This book describes Reformed ecclesiology through the lived faith of the Filipino American Christian diaspora. It proposes a contextual, constructive ecclesiology by engaging with the Presbyterian/Reformed theological tradition’s understanding of the ascension of Jesus Christ with the Old Testament book of Habakkuk as a conversation partner.
Except for some excellent studies on the notion of koinonia, few works have been devoted to a revival of the entire vision of the Church around communion, a vision of ecclesiology which is rooted in the solidarity that finds its locus in Jesus Christ. Church of Churches, the fruit of several years of research, teaching, and ecumenical involvement, is intended to overcome this lack. It is not an exhaustive study but rather a point of departure for discussing how the vision of the ecclesiology of communion - the most difficult question of the ecumenical debate - can break down the barrier of misunderstanding, suspicions, and claims in which the diverse ecclesial traditions are locked.
An introduction to the theology of the Church that explores what it means to be a member of the Church today through a survey of biblical and historical background and a look at a constructive contemporary model.
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen provides an up-to-date survey and analysis of the major ecclesiological traditions, the most important theologians, and a number of contextual approaches to both the unity and the diversity of ecclesiastic understandings and practices.
The Oxford Handbook of Ecclesiology is a unique scholarly resource for the study of the Christian Church as we find it in the Bible, in history and today. As the scholarly study of how we understand the Christian Church's identity and mission, ecclesiology is at the centre of today's theological research, reflection, and debate. Ecclesiology is the theological driver of the ecumenical movement. The main focus of the intense ecumenical engagement and dialogue of the past half-century has been ecclesiological and this is the area where the most intractable differences remain to be tackled Ecclesiology investigates the Church's manifold self-understanding in relation to a number of areas: the origins, structures, authority, doctrine, ministry, sacraments, unity, diversity, and mission of the Church, including its relation to the state and to society and culture. The sources of ecclesiological reflection are the Bible (interpreted in the light of scholarly research), Church history and the wealth of the Christian theological tradition, together with the information and insights that emerge from other relevant academic disciplines. This Handbook considers the biblical resources, historical development, and contemporary initiatives in ecclesiology. It offers invaluable and comprehensive guide to understanding the Church.
Divided into 3 parts, this handbook provides a wide-ranging survey and analysis of the Christian Church. The first section addresses the scriptural foundations of ecclesiology; the second section outlines the historical and confessional aspects of the topic; and the final part discusses a variety of contemporary and topical themes in ecclesiology. Compiled and written by leading scholars in the field, the T&T Clark Handbook of Ecclesiology covers a range of key topics in the context of their development and importance in each stream of historic Christianity and the confessional traditions. The contributors cover traditional matters such as creedal notes, but also tackle questions of ordination, orders of ministry, and sacraments. This handbook is extensive enough to provide a true overview of the field, but the essays are also concise enough to be read as reference selections.
What in the world is postmodernity? Is it the dominant reality today? If it is, what does it mean to be a church in a postmodern world? It seems that the church had a difficult time coming to terms with a modern world, an era ruled by the claims of scientific certainty. Having done so, more or less, it is now confronted by the claims of postmodernity, which seem to reverse the whole equation, to say that certainty and objectivity are chimeras. What is truth?" Pilate asked, and postmodernity 'at least as caricatured by its opponents 'responds: "There's no such thing." Gerard Mannion, in Ecclesiology and Postmodernity, addresses the situation of the church in a postmodern world. The fundamental changes in human society and culture wrought by the twentieth century require the church to consider its response in the twenty-first century. What is the church's moral Vision, how does its practice look, what is the nature of its aspiration toward holiness in our times? Mannion believes that since Vatican II, the Catholic Church has been in a kind of limbo, awaiting a Vision of its own life for the future. Rather than focusing on specific controversies, Mannion offers concrete suggestions about how the church can create a better harmony between its own self-understanding, its ecclesiological Vision, and its day-to-day life, its ecclesial practice. Gerard Mannion, PhD, educated at King's College, Cambridge University and New College, Oxford University, is Associate Professor of Ecclesiology and Ethics in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Liverpool Hope University, UK. He is also the director of Church In Our Times: Centre for the Study of Contemporary Ecclesiology, co-director of the Applied Ethics Initiative at Liverpool Hope, co-chair of the AAR (American Academy of Religion) Ecclesiological Investigations Program Unit and co-ordinator of the Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network. Mannion is the author of Schopenhauer, Religion and Morality and co-editor of Readings in Church Authority 'Gifts and Challenges for Contemporary Catholicism, both published by Ashgate in 2003, and co-editor of the forthcoming volumes The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church andCatholic Social Justice: Theological and Practical Explorations. "
"This book, which in my opinion is Moltmann's best, can be recommended on the basis that it contains challenging and creative insights that can be used by the discriminating reader in the service of church renewal Moltmann represents the theology of liberation at its best, and those who wish to know more about this theology would do well to study this creative and searching theologian." --Donald G. Bloesch Christianity Today "Moltmann is perhaps unsurpassed among his contemporaries in keenness of insight and rhetorical power." --Daniel L. Migliore, Theology Today "Moltmann presents a stirring vision which every Christian community could well ponder With a missionary emphasis, he seeks to help the reader face the question of the church's identity in the light of the contemporary political, economic, and social scene." --Religious Education
Generous Ecclesiology seeks to present a positive theological response to the issues raised by Mission-Shaped Church and For the Parish. The former reminds us that the church is to engage in creative and imaginative ways with our missionary calling. The latter affirms the place of inherited patterns and structures which cannot simply be discarded. Alert to the danger that discussion about tradition and innovation can become polarized; the editors recognize that living in relation to a generous God shapes our ecclesiology. This vocation is formed by a double constitution of worship and mission. This vocation is for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Generous Ecclesiology takes as its basis the uniqueness of the church's calling in God's world, a world embraced by the generosity of his love. This collection is a contribution to an ongoing conversation; to this end, it engages with a rich range of dialogue partners, historically, ecumenically and culturally as well as theologically. It seeks to offer a rigorous theological resource - inspiring us to drink deeply of the wells of our tradition and inherited patterns. Whether implicitly or explicitly, these essays reflect on or are shaped by the ordinary concerns, challenges and opportunities of ministry.
Born from the side of Jesus, pierced on the cross, the church is the living body of Christ. Like Jesus himself, it is both eternal and temporal, spiritual and material, spotless and wounded. Constituted as an integrated, living body, the church is the sacrament of Christ; that is, it reveals Christ to the world and makes him present in the world. It exists in order to evangelize and does this most effectively when its diverse members are united in love. This collection of chapters from scholars from diverse fields offers a fresh approach to Catholic ecclesiology. It is hoped that the reader of this book will discover anew the beauty of the church, a living body always old and ever new.
Since its publication, Church for Every Context has made a significant impact in our understanding of the theology and methodology of Fresh Expressions. In this follow-up, Michael Moynagh develops a model of emergent innovation that combines insights from both complexity and entrepreneurship theories. Taking account of the significant developments in practice and thinking around the emerging church, Church in Life will quickly establish itself as a key text for all interested in pioneer ministry, fresh expressions, church planting, church growth and ecclesiology.