Lived Theology and Power Workgroup

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The Workgroup on Theology and Power brought pastors and church-based community organizers together to understand and articulate the theological self-understandings of such communities, as well as the accompanying tensions and creative possibilities of power and money. The workgroup asked such questions as, How (or whether) power and authentic Christian existence can coexist in particular communities? Do concentrations of power in churches and Christian communities create inevitably corrosive results?

The workgroup considered three ways in which theology and power intersect: power in the social world of Christian communities; power as related to corporate and economic structures; and power as a multi-level force. In turn, we considered three themes necessary to any adquate theological analysis of power: the cross; the mission of the church; and the principalities and powers.

First Meeting – Charlottesville, Virginia

January 25-27, 2002

Readings

Participants read the following works in preparation for this meeting:

  • McCarraher, Eugene. Christian Critics: Religion and the Impasse in Modern American Social Thought. Cornell University Press, 2000.
  • Niebuhr, Reinhold. Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study of Ethics and Politics. Scribners, 1932.

Second Meeting – New York City

April 19-21, 2002

Readings

Participants read the following works in preparation for this meeting:

Readings from Gerald Schlabach:

  • Yoder, John Howard. The Christian Witness to the State. Institute of Mennonite Studies; No. 3. Newton, Kansas: Faith and Life, 1964.
  • Yoder, John Howard. The Royal Priesthood: Essays Ecclesiological and Ecumenical. Ed. by Michael G. Cartwright. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1998.
  • Schlabach, Gerald. “The Christian Witness in the Earthly City: John H. Yoder as Augustinian Interlocutor.” Unpublished paper, University of St. Thomas, 2002.

Readings from Mark Gornik:

  • Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Sassen, Saskia. Globalization and its Discontents. New York: The New Press, 1998.
  • Stuart, Lee. “The Bronx Leadership Academy Highschool: The Challenges of Innovation.” City Schools: Lessons from New York. Ed. by Diane Ravitch and Joseph P. Viteritti. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2000.
  • Stuart, Lee. “The Development of Moses as a Leader.” Unpublished paper, 1996.
  • “Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus.” The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1.

Readings from Charles Marsh:

  • Boyte, Harry C. CommonWealth: A Return to Citizen Politics. New York: The Free Press, 1989.
  • Marsh, Charles. “The Civil Rights Movement as Theological Drama – Interpretation and Application.” Modern Theology 18:2, April 2002.
  • Norden, Eric. “Playboy Interview: Saul Alinsky.” Playboy Magazine 19:3, March 1972.
  • Warren, Mark R. “Creating a Multi-Racial Democratic Community: Case Study of the Texas Industrial Areas Foundation.” Paper presented for the conference on Social Networks and Urban Poverty, Russell Sage Foundation, New York City, March 1996.

Meeting Resources

Third Meeting – Montgomery, Alabama

September 6-8, 2002

Readings

Participants read the following works in preparation for this meeting:

Readings from Charles Marsh:

  • Berkhof, Hendrik. Christ and the Powers. John Howard Yoder, trans. & ed. Scottsdale, PA.: Herald Press, 1977.
  • Carson, Clayborne, sen. ed., “Volume III: Birth of a New Age,” The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997.
  • Chomsky, Noam. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky. New York: The New Press, 2002.
  • Perkins, John. A Quiet Revolution. Waco: Word Inc., 1976.

Readings from Ted Ownby:

  • Campbell, Will D. Brother to a Dragonfly (25th Anniversary Edition). New York: Continuum, 2001.
  • Ownby, Ted. “Donald Wildmon and Theology.” Unpublished paper, University of Mississippi, 2002.

Readings from Houston Roberson:

  • Thurman, Howard. Jesus and the Disinherited. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.

Meeting Resources

Fourth Meeting – Charlottesville, Virginia

September 6-8, 2002

Readings

Participants read the following works in preparation for this meeting:

  • Milbank, John. Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1990.
  • Fosdick, Harry Emerson. The Living of These Days: An Autobiography. Harper & Brothers, 1956.
  • “The Means of Grace,” John Wesley’s Sermons: An Anthology. Albert C. Outler and Richard P. Heitzenrater, eds. Abingdon Press, 1991.

Meeting Resources

The following is the available resource from this meeting:

Lived Theology and Power Workgroup Participants

For more information about the speakers and participants, please click on their photos below.

 

Not pictured in gallery:
Houston Bryan Roberson, The University of the South, Sewanee

Lived Theology and Power Workgroup Consultants

For more information about the speakers and participants, please click on their photos below.