: Studies in Ecclesiology and Ethnography
In Explorations in Ecclesiology and Ethnography
Christian Scharen and several other contributors explore empirical and theological understandings of the church. Like the first volume in the Studies in Ecclesiology and Ethnography series, this second volume seeks to bridge the great divide between theological research and ethnography (qualitative research).
The book's wide-ranging chapters cover such fascinating topics as geographic habits of American evangelicals, debates over difficult issues like homosexuality, and responses to social problems like drug abuse and homelessness. The contributors together model a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach, with fruitful results that will set a new standard for ecclesiological research.Contributors
Henk De Roest
Christian B. Scharen
James K. A. Smith
International Journal of Public Theology
"An engaging, thought provoking look at the concrete church in a range of social contexts."
Anglican Theological Review
"Innovative and insightful. . . . This volume is a must-read for any graduate student interested in qualitative research methods, as well as for theologians, church historians, philosophers of religion, social scientists, and all who are interested in the intersection between ecclesiological studies and the ethnographic research on topics that are germane to church, congregational studies, and society."
"The research is international in scope, interdisciplinary and ecumenical, and the authors use a wide range of methodologies. . . . Together, these enable connections to be made in ways that may be mutually informative and shaping. . . . In sum, ethnography does not reduce ecclesiology to contextual description; rather, it is through the 'thick description offered by ethnography that the theologian can begin to recognize that God's work in the Church far surpasses our more limited expectations and agendas."
Sociology of Religion
"What this volume of case studies does is make a strong argument for the utilization of sociological methods (and more than just ethnography) in pursuing theological understandings within congregational and pastor settings."
"All teachers and students of ecclesiology and all who would like to take the reality of the Church seriously would benefit much from reading this book."