On the City and Congregation Workgroup, Part 1

Posted on May 7, 2015 by PLT Staff

Reflection by John Kiess at the Conference on Lived Theology and Civil Courage in Charlottesville, Virginia. Kiess reflects on the City and Congregation Workgroup, outlining its focus on understanding and attempting to construct a narrative theology for the city of Charlottesville.

Excerpt: “The temptation is to hold up narrative as a finished product, as a written document, that if only we get the story right we can begin to act. If I know finally how the church relates to the city, and the precise dimensions of its story (the beginning and end), then I can begin. The end of the narrative is not ours to possess. Nor should we feel captive to reach it. We risk bowing to a false soteriology (fetishizing knowledge) and projecting a story onto the world. We reduce the world to words, reducing what is other to the same. The narrative must remain open to the neighbor who continues to shape it.”

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