This unit will explore the challenge facing the Christian churches in societies variously shaped by Christendom. It will examine trends within, and analysis of, the current context. Attention will be paid to the major cultural movements which have defined the Australian church: Christendom and its dying influence; the Enlightenment, its legacy of modernity; and, the challenges of post-modernity and globalization. Against this backdrop, the unit will explore and critique recent missionary models of the church, especially, missional and emergent church and fresh expressions. The course will include engagement with particular communities responding in particular ways to the missional challenges.
Understand and articulate different theories describing the religious shape of Western societies, including the significance of such themes as Christendom, Modernity/Post-modernity, secularization, and globalization, and the way these inform religious belonging.
Give a critical account of the emerging models of the contemporary church and its mission in Australia.
Describe and critique models of missional church and Fresh Expressions with reference to the ecclesial and cultural contexts in which they have developed.
Assess the range of central theological ideas informing the missional church/Fresh Expressions debate and consider the implications of their assessment for the vocation of the church in contemporary Australia.
Online learning materials, tasks and tutorial discussion
A critical essay focused on one of the two approaches. Attention needs to be paid to the theological background, the manner of its practical expression, especially in relation to established ministerial orders and church structures, and its potential merit within an Australian context (4000 words)
Regular postings indicating critical engagement with the content material. This may take the form of questioning, drawing implications, and setting the theoretical discussion within one’s own church context. (1000 words equivalent)
A critical book review of one of the main theoretical texts developed either within the missional church or the fresh expressions discussion (1000 words)
Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2014
Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-07 11:56:48 +1000