Roy Kearsley Church, Community and Power

ISBN 13: 9780754663454

Church, Community and Power

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9780754663454: Church, Community and Power

In the era of 'post-Christendom', how can church as a sociological reality be switched on to the destructive dangers, yet constructive possibilities, of 'power' flowing in and around its community? Attuned to the current distrust of church power, this book creatively works out responses that could turn painful censure into a re-visioning of church power relations, helped by neglected critical studies. The approach exposes a complexity to power, and filters that insight into a theology of church. The book shows how lessons are available for a religious community from post-modern philosopher Michel Foucault and from recent feminism. The topic of power has universal importance in the study of religion, though the response to analysis and critique in this book is drawn specifically from Christian sources. Kearsley concludes with an exploration for a future renovated, self-critical, authentic and growing community, sensitive to power while remaining in line with classic Christianity.

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About the Author:

Roy Kearsley has spent the last nine years teaching theology at Cardiff University and South Wales Baptist College. He has published in early Christianity (Tertullian's Theology of Divine Power (1998)) focusing on the specialist field of 'power', a project which helped to spark research for this book.

Review:

'Roy Kearsley tackles a neglected but important problem - that of power dynamics in Christian communities. Drawing upon an impressive range of secular and theological resources, he offers an analysis of how relations of power should be understood and handled within the church. An honest and perceptive appraisal of the issues, this work will repay study by theologians and church leaders.' David Fergusson, University of Edinburgh, UK Roy Kearsley's treatment of power and authority in the church is penetrating and incisive. He has a remarkable skill in correlating his knowledge of the New Testament and of post-modern thinkers such as Foucault. This book challenges any easy assumptions about how churches handle their belief in servant ministry, and also explores whether the concept of divine omnipotence can withstand the hermeneutic of suspicion in contemporary society. It is a lively book which manages to be both readable and scholarly. I recommend it with enthusiasm. Peter Sedgwick, Principal, St Michael's College, Llandaff, Cardiff '... a fascinating and scholarly work which requires careful reading. It is a rewarding book and certainly fulfils Kearsley's aim of 'expos[ing] and inspect[ing] the subtlety and complexity of power as a concept' (p.11). He demonstrates that simple definitions of power are unhelpful when power pervades every group and relation and that, without due attention, power in church, like any community, can be very destructive.' Regent's Review 'The discussions about church, freedom, authority and community try to elucidate the problems which result from power abuse in the church. ... This book is not only relevant, but it is also very important because the power issue is one of the most neglected topics in the church. ... The book stresses the value of introspection for the church as it helps the church to look for ways in which to avoid possible abuse of power.' Studia Historiae Eccleciasticae 'What is particularly valuable about this book is that it is far from a naive diatribe against power in any of its many forms, such as is often heard. ... This book ought to make us wiser. ... Ashgate publishing produce handsome books which are a pleasure to hold and use.' Baptist Quarterly 'Roy Kearsley's book offers serious, scholarly thinking on a matter of concern to all church congregations, power... [His] work offers its readers the chance to deepen their understanding of socio-theological communities, to reflect on their understanding of the church, and to challenge themselves to greater transparency in their own handling of power. A community of believers committed to such a task is very likely to see its koinonia develop and flourish.' Modern Believing

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In the era of post-Christendom , how can church as a sociological reality be switched on to the destructive dangers, yet constructive possibilities, of power flowing in and around its community? Attuned to the current distrust of church power, this book creatively works out responses that could turn painful censure into a re-visioning of church power relations, helped by neglected critical studies. The approach exposes a complexity to power, and filters that insight into a theology of church. The book shows how lessons are available for a religious community from post-modern philosopher Michel Foucault and from recent feminism. The topic of power has universal importance in the study of religion, though the response to analysis and critique in this book is drawn specifically from Christian sources. Kearsley concludes with an exploration for a future renovated, self-critical, authentic and growing community, sensitive to power while remaining in line with classic Christianity. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780754663454

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