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The Character of Our Communities

Paperback|Sep 1995
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$26.99

The emphasis on "rugged individualism", which is so thoroughly a part of American culture, has come under scrutiny and criticism from a number of sides recently. Many have sought to reclaim a sense of community as the source of meaning...


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The emphasis on "rugged individualism", which is so thoroughly a part of American culture, has come under scrutiny and criticism from a number of sides recently. Many have sought to reclaim a sense of community as the source of meaning and value in human life. In the theological realm, thinkers such as Stanley Hauerwas have asserted that Christian faith is necessarily communitarian in nature. These theologians have argued that being a Christian means not simply encountering the divine within the privacy of the individual heart, but investing one's loyalty in a particular community of faith, leaning its shared narratives, and being apprenticed to its specific religious practices. Gloria Albrecht, who shares this rejection of American hyperindividualism, questions whether the communities Hauerwas and others envision are or even can be liberative for those who have been marginalized by the rest of society. She applauds the concern that Christians be shaped, not by the values of the wider society, but by the distinctive stories and perspectives of concrete worshiping communities. Yet she asks a trenchant question: Who is telling these stories? Are they told in such a way as to subvert or support the predominant culture's denigration of certain of its members to second and third class status? In spite of their intention to be countercultural, Albrecht contends that the communities which these theologians conceive are in danger of adopting the very hierarchical character that defines the society at large. She insists that if our communities are to be the visible signs of the sovereign rule of God they claim to be, they must be characterized by inclusiveness and diversity.
-Publisher

The emphasis on "rugged individualism," which is so thoroughly a part of American culture, has come under scrutiny and criticism from a number of sides recently. Many have sought to reclaim a sense of community as the source of meaning and value in human life. In the theological realm, thinkers such as Stanley Hauerwas have asserted that Christian faith is necessarily communitarian in nature. These theologians have argued that being a Christian means not simply encountering the divine within the privacy of the individual heart, but investing one's loyalty in a particular community of faith, leaning its shared narratives, and being apprenticed to its specific religious practices. Gloria Albrecht, who shares this rejection of American hyperindividualism, questions whether the communities Hauerwas and others envision are or even can be liberative for those who have been marginalized by the rest of society. She applauds the concern that Christians be shaped, not by the values of the wider society, but by the distinctive stories and perspectives of concrete worshiping communities. Yet she asks a trenchant question: Who is telling these stories? Are they told in such a way as to subvert or support the predominant culture's denigration of certain of its members to second and third class status? In spite of their intention to be countercultural, Albrecht contends that the communities which these theologians conceive are in danger of adopting the very hierarchical character that defines the society at large. She insists that if our communities are to be the visible signs of the sovereign rule of God they claim to be, they must be characterized by inclusiveness and diversity.
-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL
  • Catalogue Code 209795
  • Product Code 0687002834
  • EAN 9780687002832
  • Pages 202
  • Department Academic
  • Category Church
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Abingdon Press
  • Publication Date Sep 1995
  • Dimensions 229 x 159 x 16mm
  • Weight 0.410kg

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