This unit explores the roots of the Christian community in the messianic ministry of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ and the sending of the Spirit. It highlights the diverse embodiments of the church found in the New Testament and presents them as evidence of the ferment and de facto experimentation which characterised the formation and self-understandings of early Christianity. The ecclesiologies built around the classic marks of the church will be surveyed, but this survey will demonstrate that such ecclesiologies often obscure the experimentation which properly belongs to reflections on the Christian community. The Reformation's disruption of the Western church, the modern missionary and ecumenical movements, the emergence of the 'global church,' and ecclesiastical scandals and corruption all provide the background to the contemporary recognition of ecclesiological ferment and recent discussions about the polycentricity of Christianity. This ferment will be framed Christologically and pneumatologically in ways that provide theological foundations for experimental reflection on the church's mission, structures, and sacramental practices. The unit will include some focus on the relevance of these issues to the vocation of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Unit code: DM2011P
Unit status: Approved (New unit)
Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2
Unit discipline: Missiology
Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological CollegeShow when this unit is running
Articulate the key critical issues in theological debates about the nature, purposes and practices of Christianity communities
Explain the historical and theological background to the emergence of Christian communities as the consequence of Jesus' messianic ministry
Describe the diversity of the ecclesiologies indicated in the New Testament
Explain the significance of the Reformation, the modern ecumenical movement, and the polycentric 'global church' for contemporary discussions of ministry and mission
Integrate the themes of polycentricity and experimentation into an understanding of the church's witness in contemporary Australia, with particular reference to the vocation of the Uniting Church in Australia
Lectures and Tutorials
|Type||Description||Word count||Weight (%)|
|Learning Resource - Study Guide for a Local Community of Faith||
A Study Guide which introduces the diverse ecclesiologies of the New Testament intended for use in a local community of faith.
|Essay - Minor Essay||
An essay which critically studies the ecclesiology of either a particular ecclesiastical tradition or a significant theologian.
|Essay - Major Essay||
An essay which investigates the themes of experimentation and polycentricity in contemporary ecclesiology.
Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 17 Sep, 2021
Unit record last updated: 2022-03-24 08:57:05 +1100