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Unlearning Protestantism

Gerald W Schlabach

Unlearning Protestantism

Gerald W Schlabach

$65.00

Paperback
This insightful book addresses the "Protestant dilemma" in ecclesiology: how to build lasting Christian community in a world of individualism and transience. Gerald Schlabach, a former Mennonite who is now Catholic, seeks not to encourage readers to abandon Protestant churches but to unlearn lessons that are no longer productive. He explains that what may have been virtues in the early years of the Protestant Reformation have now become vices that corrode community life. For example, Luther's courage to stand on conscience has become, in our individualistic age, an excuse to avoid the hard work of living together in community.

^Unlearning Protestantism encourages readers to relearn certain virtues that all Christian communities need to sustain their communal lives. Schlabach offers a vision for the right and faithful roles of authority, stability, and loyal dissent in Christian communal life. He tries to make sense of the yearning for a new kind of catholicity that Christians of multiple denominations are demonstrating through liturgical renewal, the recovery of ancient Christian spiritual practices, and other alliances and crossovers.

^^This book will be useful in theology and ecclesiology courses. It deals with issues that transcend denominations and will appeal to all readers, both Catholic and Protestant, who are interested in sustaining Christian tradition and community over time^



- Publisher "In this fascinating, scintillating book, Gerald Schlabach shows how absolutely crucial the practice of stability and the virtue of fidelity are for sustaining Christian communities today. If the inevitable tensions, conflicts, and disagreements that strain communal life are not to destroy it, Christians must learn how to stay together as they build communities that more faithfully witness Christ. Perhaps most important is Schlabach''s claim that loyal dissent, far from being a threat to a community and its traditions, is rooted in a community''s traditions and aims to enrich them. Loyal dissent, as an expression of stability and faithfulness, is precisely what a pilgrim people needs as it journeys together to God. Thoughtful, insightful, and refreshingly challenging, Schlabach''s Unlearning Protestantism is a gift for Christians whose impatience with imperfect communities tempts them to forget that God is present in the very ordinary--and often trying--circumstances of our lives."--Paul J. Wadell, professor of religious studies, St. Norbert College"The question before Christians today is not whether the Reformation is over but, as Gerald Schlabach frames it so well, whether Protestants will be able to sustain faithful Christian communities over time apart from a serious engagement with the Catholic tradition. Written in an accessible and winsome style, this book needs to be read by every scholar and layperson interested in the unity and witness of the church in a world that for the most part no longer even pays lip service to the God Christians worship. In particular, Schlabach''s treatment of the relationship between stability and dissent is nothing short of masterful."--Barry Harvey, professor of theology, Honors College, Baylor University"Many of us Protestants are not Catholic enough to know what we are protesting. This book is a unique celebration of the stability of Catholicism while also recognizing that the church needs a revolution every few hundred years. A monumental step toward the unity Jesus dreamed of as he prayed that the church would be one as God is one."--Shane Claiborne, author and activist, www.thesimpleway.org"Well written and perspicaciously framed, Unlearning Protestantism represents a stimulating contribution to ecumenical dialogue. Gerald Schlabach lifts up the practice of stability and the virtue of fidelity for Christian ecclesial communities with characteristic hospitality and humility. His own story of becoming a Mennonite Catholic, woven gracefully within his thoughtful analysis of the broader Christian narrative, provides a hopeful model for the sort of virtuous empathy he recommends to Christians as they plumb the depths of their own traditions while engaging in dialogue across ecclesial traditions."--Margaret Pfeil, assistant professor of theology, University of Notre Dame"There is no shortage of books these days about the future of the church, and most of them are unfortunately shallow if not unintelligent. By contrast, Unlearning Protestantism is uncommonly rich and wonderfully wise. Not many scholars have the ecumenical range and historical depth that Gerald Schlabach brings to ecclesiological questions. And even those who do would be tempted to bypass the issues that he has engaged in this book. But then, not many scholars have invested the time to build bridges between ecclesial traditions like Schlabach has for the past two decades. This book displays practical wisdom about why and how ''staying put'' is an important virtue for Christians to practice in order to sustain Christian communities. Schlabach invites readers to unlearn habits of thought that we have long associated with Protestant conceptions of the church. We are also invited to embrace a vision of Christian renewal that is driven by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in human communities across time and space. I highly recommend to anyone who cares about the project of Christian renewal in a globalized world."--Michael G. Cartwr

- Publisher

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About "Unlearning Protestantism"

This insightful book addresses the "Protestant dilemma" in ecclesiology: how to build lasting Christian community in a world of individualism and transience. Gerald Schlabach, a former Mennonite who is now Catholic, seeks not to encourage readers to abandon Protestant churches but to unlearn lessons that are no longer productive. He explains that what may have been virtues in the early years of the Protestant Reformation have now become vices that corrode community life. For example, Luther's courage to stand on conscience has become, in our individualistic age, an excuse to avoid the hard work of living together in community.

^Unlearning Protestantism encourages readers to relearn certain virtues that all Christian communities need to sustain their communal lives. Schlabach offers a vision for the right and faithful roles of authority, stability, and loyal dissent in Christian communal life. He tries to make sense of the yearning for a new kind of catholicity that Christians of multiple denominations are demonstrating through liturgical renewal, the recovery of ancient Christian spiritual practices, and other alliances and crossovers.

^^This book will be useful in theology and ecclesiology courses. It deals with issues that transcend denominations and will appeal to all readers, both Catholic and Protestant, who are interested in sustaining Christian tradition and community over time^


- Publisher

"In this fascinating, scintillating book, Gerald Schlabach shows how absolutely crucial the practice of stability and the virtue of fidelity are for sustaining Christian communities today. If the inevitable tensions, conflicts, and disagreements that strain communal life are not to destroy it, Christians must learn how to stay together as they build communities that more faithfully witness Christ. Perhaps most important is Schlabach''s claim that loyal dissent, far from being a threat to a community and its traditions, is rooted in a community''s traditions and aims to enrich them. Loyal dissent, as an expression of stability and faithfulness, is precisely what a pilgrim people needs as it journeys together to God. Thoughtful, insightful, and refreshingly challenging, Schlabach''s Unlearning Protestantism is a gift for Christians whose impatience with imperfect communities tempts them to forget that God is present in the very ordinary--and often trying--circumstances of our lives."--Paul J. Wadell, professor of religious studies, St. Norbert College"The question before Christians today is not whether the Reformation is over but, as Gerald Schlabach frames it so well, whether Protestants will be able to sustain faithful Christian communities over time apart from a serious engagement with the Catholic tradition. Written in an accessible and winsome style, this book needs to be read by every scholar and layperson interested in the unity and witness of the church in a world that for the most part no longer even pays lip service to the God Christians worship. In particular, Schlabach''s treatment of the relationship between stability and dissent is nothing short of masterful."--Barry Harvey, professor of theology, Honors College, Baylor University"Many of us Protestants are not Catholic enough to know what we are protesting. This book is a unique celebration of the stability of Catholicism while also recognizing that the church needs a revolution every few hundred years. A monumental step toward the unity Jesus dreamed of as he prayed that the church would be one as God is one."--Shane Claiborne, author and activist, www.thesimpleway.org"Well written and perspicaciously framed, Unlearning Protestantism represents a stimulating contribution to ecumenical dialogue. Gerald Schlabach lifts up the practice of stability and the virtue of fidelity for Christian ecclesial communities with characteristic hospitality and humility. His own story of becoming a Mennonite Catholic, woven gracefully within his thoughtful analysis of the broader Christian narrative, provides a hopeful model for the sort of virtuous empathy he recommends to Christians as they plumb the depths of their own traditions while engaging in dialogue across ecclesial traditions."--Margaret Pfeil, assistant professor of theology, University of Notre Dame"There is no shortage of books these days about the future of the church, and most of them are unfortunately shallow if not unintelligent. By contrast, Unlearning Protestantism is uncommonly rich and wonderfully wise. Not many scholars have the ecumenical range and historical depth that Gerald Schlabach brings to ecclesiological questions. And even those who do would be tempted to bypass the issues that he has engaged in this book. But then, not many scholars have invested the time to build bridges between ecclesial traditions like Schlabach has for the past two decades. This book displays practical wisdom about why and how ''staying put'' is an important virtue for Christians to practice in order to sustain Christian communities. Schlabach invites readers to unlearn habits of thought that we have long associated with Protestant conceptions of the church. We are also invited to embrace a vision of Christian renewal that is driven by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in human communities across time and space. I highly recommend to anyone who cares about the project of Christian renewal in a globalized world."--Michael G. Cartwr
- Publisher

Meet the Author

Gerald W Schlabach

Gerald W. Schlabach (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is professor of theology and director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the founder and director of Bridgefolk, a movement of Mennonites and Roman Catholics who come together to celebrate each other's traditions, explore each other's practices, and honor each other's contribution to the mission of Christ's church.

He is also the author or editor of several books including For the Joy Set Before Us: Augustine and Self-Denying Love(Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2001); To Bless All Peoples: Serving With Abraham and Jesus.(Peace and Justice Series 12. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1991);And Who is My Neighbor? Poverty, Privilege and the Gospel of Christ (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1990.) and most recently Unlearning Protestantism: Sustaining Christian Community in an Unstable Age (Brazos Press, 2010)
Koorong -Editorial Review.

Table Of Contents

  • Introduction
    1. The Protestant Dilemma
    the Permanent Principle Of Reform
    the Nagging Dilemma Of Undoing
    the Puzzle Of Protestant Identity
    hauerwas's Hunch
    2. The Matter Of Continuity
    mennonites Amid The Acids Of Modernity
    four Strategies: The Debate That Was "the Goshen School"
    freedom And Discipline: Lessons From An Unruly Synthesis
    continuity Anyway (or, Why Hauerwas Really Is Not Yoder But Nonetheless Is Right About Mennonite Community)
    3. The Practice Of Stability
    mobility In Question
    stability In The Rule Of St. Benedict
    replies To Objections
    stability Beyond Monastic Walls
    a Not-so-innovative Postscript
    4. Stability Writ Large
    "participatory Hierarchy"
    toward A Stable Narrative Of Vatican Ii
    stability Under The Mantle Of Aggiornamento
    authority And Dissent In A Richer Theological Context
    stability Strained But Holding
    5. Stability In Hard Times: Loyal Dissent
    obedience And Dissent: Three Archetypal Stories
    the Virtue That Catholics Struggle To Name
    five Loyal Dissenters
    one More Story
    6. Giving The Gift Of Stability To A Globalizing World
    a Meditation On Globalization And gaudium Et Spes
    a Long-deferred Objection--why Now?
    the Rationality Of Traditions
    bibliography

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 231817
  • Product Code 1587431114
  • EAN 9781587431111
  • Pages 272
  • Department Academic
  • Category Church
  • Sub-Category Church Growth
  • Publisher Baker Book House
  • Publication Date Apr 2010
  • Sales Rank #30421
  • Dimensions 228 x 152 x 20 mm
  • Weight 0.369kg

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