Friday, January 27, 2006

Post Christendom and confirmation

Some more thoughts to get the juices going for the new year
As I said in a previuos blog I'm reading Sturat Murray's Book Church after Christendom,
In it amongst oter things he looks at the place of Believing, Belonging and Behavior and comments on the fact that the plac eof behaviour is becomming ever important in the changing climate. A while back i read Harvey Cox's book on When Jesus came to Harvard, and the sudden popularity of a course on ethics he did. While i hated ethics when I was theological college the importance of forming the mind atttitude and behaviour to be Christ like can not be overlooked, and I suspect that when we are saying we need confirmation to be taken seriously by the Church it is the formation of identity and ethics rather then dogma.
"Post-Christendom catechesis will require more than induction course - even courses that explore 'behaving' in far greater depth than any course currently available. It will mean rehearsing the 'big story' and core values of the community, so these are deeply internalised. It may include a form of cultural excorcsim, confronting the norms os a cynical, individualistic, patriachal, consumerist culture, built on global injustice and sustained by institutional violence. And it will involve mentoring, apprenticeship and accountability processes."
Stuart Murray page 35

I think this is what is missing, excorcism was always apart of the catechesis rites of the anicent church, a cultural excorcism could be very impotant now also. Though balance is needed I think the development of a behavioural confirmation course might be worth pursuing


Ant said...

exorcism is an rite that is too often overlooked.

one of the best 'modern' examples I've come across is William Stringfellow's exorcism of Nixon at the time of Watergate.

Of course, others have practised it since - exorcising culture and its politics of death (eg. some intentional communities in the USA spring to mind).

perhaps the rite of exorcism would actually (and seriously) help the anglican church?

STeve said...

i really like the phrase "cultural exorcism." that is very good.

when i baptise people i ask them 3 questions as they enter the pool - do you follow Jesus, do you repent, do you renounce evil.

i have been pondering tying those questions to a more in-depth catachetical programme and that idea of "renouncing cultural evil" suddenly gives great scope for exploration of consumerism, social justice, living simply.

thanks heaps for the phrase Mike.