This is the first book in the new SCM Society and Church series, which attempts to make sense of the Church and Christianity in a secular society and context, and explore what the former can legitimately contribute to the latter....
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This is the first book in the new SCM Society and Church series, which attempts to make sense of the Church and Christianity in a secular society and context, and explore what the former can legitimately contribute to the latter. Wellbeing is an absolutely central concept in our secular lives, is used with increasing frequency in all sorts of contexts - eg. the Boots website is www.wellbeing.com - and it is therefore crucial that we understand how it relates to life, meaning and personal identity in the 21st century.;Through a combination of story, personal reflection and philosophical analysis, Alison Webster attempts to get under the skin of wellbeing, and show how the concept is evolving in contemporary culture. She shows how the agenda generated by wellbeing is like that which traditionally has been generated by religion and spirituality* which is why meeting spiritual needs is such big business in health and social care. Webster argues that the Christian tradition still has much to offer in transforming our society into one in which sickness, disability and death are put into their rightful place - and in which overly-commodified and individualistic notions of sickness and disability are overcome.
As a theme for serious and sustained treatment, church and society tends to be regarded as a subject from a bygone age. This reflects the way in which our cultural, social and political situation has changed over the last fifty years, during which it has become increasingly difficult (and has increasingly appeared to be redundant) to relate church and God-talk to society.^One of the most marked shifts during this period has been the virtually complete secularisation of culture, at least in its public spheres, and the consequent marginalization of the church, of God and of God-talk. Hence it is not now clear whether the church can legitimately and effectively claim public space and communicate in a radically secular society.^However, instead of a sense of crisis, there is complacency within the churches about the present and future status and contribution of the church to national life (evident in both sides of the debate concerning Establishment). In addition, there is no clear understanding among the churches either of what their relationship to society might properly be or even of what society is or might be.^Put theologically, this crisis is about whether it is possible any longer to have a public theology: one which is socially and confessionally responsible, which has theological integrity in responding to and addressing society. Put in more ecclesiastical terms, it concerns the possibility of being church in and for society.^This series is envisa
Webster is a freelance publications consultant.