Interrupting the Church's Flow
A radically receptive political theology in the urban margins
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How can we develop and embody an ecclesiology, in contexts of urban marginality, that is radically receptive to the gifts and challenges of the agency of our non-Christian neighbours?
Drawing on resources from political theologies, and in particular conversation with Graham Ward and Romand Coles, Interrupting the Church's Flow challenges our lazy understanding of receptivity, digging deep to uncover a rich theological seam which has the potential to radically alter how theologians think about what we draw from urban places. It offers a game changing liberative theology rooted not in the global south but from a position of self-critical privilege.
Foreword, Professor Mike Higton and Dr Sanjee Perera xi
Part One – Church on the Edges of the Public Square
1 Locating the drama 17
2 Public Theology 33
3 Liberation Theologies 43
4 Ecclesial political theologies 58
Part Two – Engaging Graham Ward: theologian of the postmodern city
5 The postmodern city 75
6 Church as ‘alternative erotic community’ 96
7 Interrupting the church’s flow: Ward’s ‘schizoid’ christology, and repressed ‘others’ 123
8 Tracing Ward’s retreats 138
Part Three – Engaging Romand Coles as post-liberal ‘theologian’ of receptivity
9 A tension-dwelling ‘visionary pragmatism’ 161
10 A ‘christeccentric’, ‘radically insufficient’ church 201
Part Four – Developing a radically receptive political theology
11 Engaging critical white theology: dis-locating the (privileged) theologian 225
12 A radically receptive political ontology: returning to the flow(s) 243
13 Practising radically receptive political theology 254
14 Returning 264
Index of Names and Subjects 325
“This book offers us a renewing and challenging vision of how to be human in unsettling times. It renews political theology as a discipline, building on (rather than rejecting) the movements of recent years; and it renews the Church whose pathway to the life of resurrection is argued to be via a radically receptive way of living.” -- Dr Anna Rowlands, St Hilda Associate Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice, Durham University, UK
“This is a book that bears gifts … for the life of the whole church. And it is a book that hammers on the barricades that prevent us receiving, that prevent us even seeing or sensing, these gifts. It is a transformative book.” -- Mike Higton, Professor of Theology and Ministry, Durham University, UK
"This is an ‘accidental prophecy’ of extraordinary significance, one that engulfs my cautious pessimistic hopes in such roaring radical dissonance that my ears sing and my heart is readied for a transformed Church." -- Dr Sanjee Perera, Visiting Research fellow, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University.