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Notice who is not here: sociologists of religion. Phillips is right that anthropologists have been much more open to this conversation. See, just for one example, the Fall volume of the South Atlantic Quarterly for a conversation between anthropologists and theologians. Yet, more and more, sociologists are taken to be the authoritative voices that distill for us the essence of the church. And most of that is based on research conducted by quantheads who lack the sort of theological nuance that our panelists have articulated. With those assumptions, ecclesiology is pretty much irrelevant.

Cue your favorite John Milbank quote here. What I find refreshing and promising about this conversation is its refusal of such reductionism, without floating off into aspirational idealism.

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In so doing it approaches ecclesiological truth by means of ethnographythe careful attention to, and description of, group practices in specific local contexts. Includes essays on the geographic habits of American evangelicals, debates over homosexuality and responses to social problems such as drug abuse and homelessness. This volume is a must-read for any graduate student interested in qualitative research methods, as well as for theologians, church historians, philosophers of religion, social scientists, and all who are interested in the intersection between ecclesiological studies and the ethnographic research on topics that are germane to church, congregational studies, and society.

Together, these enable connections to be made in ways that may be mutually informative and shaping.

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In sum, ethnography does not reduce ecclesiology to contextual description; rather, it is through the thick description offered by ethnography that the theologian can begin to recognize that God s work in the Church far surpasses our more limited expectations and agendas. In sum, ethnography does not reduce ecclesiology to contextual description; rather, it is through the 'thick description offered by ethnography that the theologian can begin to recognize that God's work in the Church far surpasses our more limited expectations and agendas.

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Brand new Book. In Explorations in Ecclesiology and Ethnography Christian Scharen and several other contributors explore empirical and theological understandings of the church. Like the first volume in the Studies in Ecclesiology and Ethnography series, this second volume seeks to bridge the great divide between theological research and ethnography qualitative research.

The book's wide-ranging chapters cover such fascinating topics as geographic habits of American evangelicals, debates over difficult issues like homosexuality, and responses to social problems like drug abuse and homelessness. The contributors together model a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach, with fruitful results that will set a new standard for ecclesiological research.

Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography

ScharenJames K. Seller Inventory AAS Part two, which primarily discusses congregational worship, affirms that sacramental life concretizes theological understandings and praxis. However, it notes that understandings and praxis may be manifested quite differently within the same church. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. Read preview. Bulthuis New York University Press, Read preview Overview.


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