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The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the disconnection of Christian doctrine from both the practices internal to congregational life, and the church’s external mission, particularly in Episcopal and Anglican congregations; and discuss how the synthesis of basic Christian practices, the contextual reframing of baptismal vows, and the teaching of doctrine as narrative can work toward their reintegration among the members of congregations.
It begins with a discussion of how the three areas have become disconnected in late modernity, using the insights of philosopher Charles Taylor and his concept of “social imaginaries.” What is suggested is that the Christian social imaginary has been subverted by modern secularist ones. This theory is expanded by critique of the approaches of both traditionalist and progressive Anglicans in dealing with it.
A theoretical framework is discussed presenting doctrine as the vision, end, or telos which is pursued by the intentions of believers, and is shaped by a set of basic practices. The vision is framed as doctrine reframed as the narrative of God’s mission, with its proper end being the Reign of God, rather than focus upon propositions. Intentions are explored through the classical promises made at baptism, and the vows of monasticism, together with discussion of a set of basic practices and their role in Christian formation.
Vision, intention, and practices are discussed in terms of knowing the story of God, committing to that story, and participating in it. A narrative scriptural theology provides the vision, and becomes a common doctrinal core. Intention is pursued through reframing baptismal vows. The basic practices discussed are Eucharist, the Daily Office, Lectio Divina, ministry to and with the marginalized and poor, and indwelling neighborhoods as places of mission. The proposals are then discussed the larger issues of leadership and further strategies for implementation.
Content Reader: Todd D. Hunter, D.Min.
Material is subject to copyright.
Yale, Richard B., "The Reintegration of Doctrine with Church Life and Mission" (2015). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 198.