Missionaries in Our Own Back Yard: Missional Community as Cultural and Political Engagement in the Writings of Lesslie Newbigin

By Patrick Franklin
View profile for: Dr. Patrick Franklin

The previous two articles in this journal issue explore the idea that the church is a political entity. Buttrey, Eaton, and Olkovich engage the political ecclesiology of William Cavanaugh, who rejects what he calls “politically indirect ecclesiologies” in favour of “politically direct ecclesiologies.” Politically indirect ecclsiologies are those in which “the church in fluences the state only through the activities of Christian citizens, and its theology is understood to need transla-tion into a ‘more publicly accessible form of discourse’ to in fl uence society.” In contrast, in direct ecclesiologies, such as that of Stanley Hauerwas, the church is inherently (hence directly) a political entity, although – and this is crucial – one that embodies a di ff erent poli-tics than that of the world and thus exists as a contrast community. Robert Dean, in his contribution, unpacks Hauerwas’s conception of preaching within the context of his broader theological politics. For Hauerwas, preaching is as an intensely political activity practiced within the church as an inherently political community (in the sense of Cavanaugh’s notion of politically direct ecclesiology). In this article, I want to extend this discussion by considering the church’s direct po-litical nature from another angle: the church as missional community.

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This is a peer reviewed Article

Article in Didaskalia
Volume #: 25
Pages: 158-187
Year: 2015

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