Commitment, Community, Cooperation

Archive for September, 2017|Monthly archive page

Faith Seeking Action — 10 Year Anniversary

In Gregory Leffel on September 18, 2017 at 5:58 pm

Faith Seeking Action: Mission, Social Movements, and the Church in Motion (Intercultural Studies) by [Leffel, Gregory P.]It’s been a decade already, but Greg Leffel’s book Faith Seeking Action: Mission, Social Movements, and the Church in Motion continues to find its way deeper into the conversation at the intersection of faith, social change, and theo-politics. Based on case-studies of the early 2000s Antiglobalization movement against international corporations and finance, public policy, and their detrimental effects on labor, the environment and culture; the 1980s Sanctuary movement sheltering undocumented refugees from the war zones in Central America; and a movement of house churches beginning in the 1970s, Faith Seeking Action remains relevant to the many questions about faith in public life in an age of Trump, Brexit, and xenophobic hysteria.

It’s principal focus is the architecture of social movement mobilization, addressing the six crucial variables that organize and mobilize effective collective action. But it is also a conversation between a new theological understanding of the church and emerging social movement theory.

This is an academic book for sure, but its ideas are finding their way to popular audiences partly through the speaking and writing of Brian McLaren. His 2016 book The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian devotes a chapter to covering the basics of Faith Seeking Action.

Faith Seeking Action: Mission, Social Movements, and the Church in Motion — Gregory P. Leffel, Ph.D.

Available at Amazon.com in paper and Kindle versions.

For a sample from the Introduction, click the headline above.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Intimate Strangers: Theory and Practice

In Gregory Leffel on September 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm

One Horizon Working Essay

by Gregory Leffel, Ph.D.

 

Public life is a confusion of ideas, master theories, practices — and conflict over the cultural authority of long-accepted visions of the world and emerging successors. Social practices including social activism, politics, legal advocacy, economic reforms, and so on, are contested on every side. Where does one begin to construct ideas and proposals that can support broadly shared ideas and new practices that can contribute to the flourishing of public life? This extended essay examines the perennial tension between theory and practice, describing both how difficult it is to gain a clear picture of public life, and the many tensions we face in acting for the common good. The essay is in four parts, reflecting these four questions:

  • Where have all the public “big ideas” — and their cultural authority — gone today? And what have we lost?
  • How may I break free from my social conditioning to became an authentically free social agent — and thus practice in public as a trustworthy participant in public life?
  • How does a “public” create meaning and interpret public life, creating a working picture of the world from everyday experience instead of from philosophical sytems?
  • What does it mean to be a “cosmopolitan disciple” (a term created here), able to connect theory and practice for authentic service to the wider public?

 

One Horizon working essays are just that: preliminary works in progress to frame new and developing thoughts and proposals — and then to examine them for strengths and weaknesses. None have been published, and are provided here to solicit comment, critique, suggestions for revision. Since they are works in progress, please to not circulate or cite them without permission of the author. The material is copyrighted by a Creative Commons license.

For the full text, click the heading above.

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The Missiology of Trouble: Liberal Discontent and Metamodern Hope

In Gregory Leffel on September 14, 2017 at 10:36 pm

2016 ASM Presidential Address

 

In June 2016 OHI’s Gregory Leffel gave the annual Presidential Address at the American Society of Missiology. The text is posted here to provide a picture of how missiologists — that is, theologians working at the intersection of faith and public life — or Greg, at least — understand essential issues and trends affecting the quality of life in our society and what a Christian faith response might include. The address begins on an imaginary note, asking people accustomed to living or working overseas what they might encounter when they return to the United States and see it again with fresh eyes.

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