The Emerging Church: What is it, and Why Does it Matter? Seminar at UCC, 18 November

ikonnycI am looking forward to giving a seminar on ‘The Emerging Church: What is it, and Why Does it Matter?’ on Monday 18 November, 1-2 pm, for the Study of Religions Department at University College Cork, the O’Rahilly Building, Room G27.

This seminar is based my forthcoming book with Gerardo Marti, The Deconstructed Church: Understanding Emerging Christianity (Oxford, April 2014). It will describe and define the Emerging Church Movement (ECM), exploring examples of Emerging Christian congregations, collectives, pub churches and neo-monastic communities from the USA, UK and Northern Ireland.

The ECM is a reform movement within Western Christianity that seeks to overturn what Emerging Christians see as conventional and destructive interpretations of the Gospel, to transform religious institutions so they are less hierarchical, and to reorient Christianity from inside the walls of church buildings to serving others outside in the “real world.” The ECM is significant from a sociological perspective because of the ways it resonates with the wider trends and values of our age, resulting in a distinct religious orientation that encourages individual autonomy and deep commitments to relationships with others. This religious orientation also includes common beliefs (around the nature of truth, doubt, and the nature of God), and practices (innovations in preaching, worship, Eucharist, leadership, etc). These characteristics make it stand out among modern Christian traditions and identifications as appealing to a ‘spiritual, but not institutionally religious’ self. This matters because it means that the ECM will persist and even thrive not only as a viable religious identification, but also as a challenge to and influence on traditional Western Christian denominations well into the future.

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One Response to The Emerging Church: What is it, and Why Does it Matter? Seminar at UCC, 18 November

  1. Stephen John June 17, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    The Emerging Church also rejects Christ as Lord and God in many circles. IT’s nothing new. That which has been will be again and that which will be has already been. I see it as a masquerade to rejecting the Truth that is in Christ alone. In short, Not Trusting what He said and justifying ourselves instead to come up with something different. Emerging in short refers to diverging away from Christ and being transformed by the shifting shadows of the world. ..rather than being in the world and not of the world. This is happening with The Roman Catholic Church and always has, only under a different name beginning with the Catechism. There is a very GRAVE DANGER of New Age heresies this so-called “Movement” introduces. Don’t be deceived, darkness masquerades as a form of ‘enlightenment”. But ther is nothing New..what is there to emerge from? The Emergent chuch should be us emerging from our slumber and waking up, instead it insists on sleeping and dreaming up more schemes and the justifying ourselves by redefining terminology. All one has to do is read Brian Mclaren’s book “The Secret Message of Jesus” to see the whole idea gets further from the Truth by not allowing it to enter in.

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