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The church as a catalyst for transformation in the society

The church as a catalyst for transformation in the society

In 2011, a Pew Forum study of global Christianity found that there were an estimated 279 million classical Pentecostals making 4% of the total world population. This represented 12.8% of the world’s Christian Pentecostal population (Pew Research Centre 2011:67). Christianity makes up 56% of the population of Nigeria. According to Barrett and Johnson, Pentecostal denomination membership has been estimated to be at least a quarter of the world’s two billion Christians (Barrett & Johnson 2002:1). Vinson Synan, the Dean of the Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, told the triennial Pentecostal World Conference in Seoul in 1998 that about 25% of the world’s Christians are Pentecostal or charismatic (The Magazine 1998). Barrett in his statistics also submits that about 450 million are charismatic or Pentecostal. According to Pew Forum analysis carried out in 2011 on the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are about 279 million Pentecostal Christians and 305 million charismatic Christians in the world. Observers differ on their analysis of the impact the Pentecostal movement is making on society. While some have commented that this movement largely has negative social, political and economic effects on the society, other commentators observe that Pentecostalism as This article evaluates the activities of the church, especially the Pentecostal Movement in Nigeria, and their contribution to national development. It identifies the social, economic and political problems in Nigeria and discusses their interconnections and impacts on the development in Nigeria. It also identifies and analyses the approaches of the African Pentecostal Movement to socio-economic and political problems and evaluates the impact of these responses to the Nigerian society. Finally, it explores the role of the African Pentecostal churches in nation building and the transformation of the people of the south-western part

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Belonging to rural church and society : theological and religious perspectives

Belonging to rural church and society : theological and religious perspectives

Much has been written in recent years to put forward the theory that in British society belonging is now less to do with neighbourhood or geography than with communities of interest. Mission Shaped Church (Archbishops’ Council 2004: 4) states, “In a network society the importance of place is secondary to the importance of ‘flows’”. There is some truth in the increased importance of non-geographical belonging, and the need for churches among others to be attentive to the challenges and opportunities presented, but this should not be allowed to cloud the fact that for many people their belonging with, or alienation from, specific geographical communities, plays a vital role in their lives; perhaps no more so than in the countryside, where the connection with place remains at its strongest.

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Becoming a missional church: The struggle of the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa or Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in Meadowlands, Soweto

Becoming a missional church: The struggle of the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa or Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in Meadowlands, Soweto

The LECSA and PEMS ministers should empower and partner with lay people to do the work of the ministry or mission in their parishes. The mission and ministry of the church currently centre on the clergy and need to be liberated from their clutches. The high institutionalism is not consistent with their Presbyterian type of church government, and thus must be dismantled and replaced with a system that encourages full participation (not just on paper) of the laity in the mission of the church (Hirsch 2006:110; WCC 2005:49). She needs to be authentic to her tradition and belief in the priesthood of all believers (protestant-reformed tradition). The MTS and Bible School should research, conduct refresher courses for their long-serving ministers and expose her students to new and creative ways of becoming a missional church. Lay-ministry training should be taken seriously and not depend on either the time that is available or presbytery conferences. It must be thoroughly researched and informed by the real needs of the church and society. A curriculum of some kind must be developed and delivered by passionate people (both clergy and laity). The best place to conduct this is at the local parish.

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Kingdom, church and civil society: A theological paradigm for civil action

Kingdom, church and civil society: A theological paradigm for civil action

This article deals with the role that churches can and should play in civil society to develop societal morally. The central-theoretical argument is that the biblical notion of the kingdom of God can, when it is systematically and theologically developed, offer an acceptable foundation for the civil action of churches. In light of this the article takes a new look at the neo-Calvinist view on church and society. The kingdom implies the life encompassing governance of God, the formation of the church and the creation of a moral sense amongst people. The church can, from the perspective of the kingdom, be seen as a community within which Christians should be equipped for social action. The church is a power station which carries forth the light of the Gospel by means of the social involvement of believers in civil society. Christians can, based on natural law, work with civil organisations to pursue the common good of the community. Such collaboration becomes possible only when civil society works purpose- and not paradigm-driven. Based on the moral sense that is founded in natural law, Christians can be socially active within civil society in search of the greatest benefit for all people within the community.

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Perversion, surveillance and the Church of England Purity Society, 1820-1890

Perversion, surveillance and the Church of England Purity Society, 1820-1890

This paper will address responses to the issue of social disorder that was central to many late nineteenth-century concerns in Britain. Supervision of boys and young men became more formalized in the purity movements which proliferated at the end of the century. Perhaps the most notable example was the Church of England Purity Society which was formed in 1880. The Church of England Purity Society represented responses to continued calls for an attempt to redefine masculine ideology. Most importantly, it was a way of aligning the male body with the body of Christ. Moral authority was vested in the Purity Society, which provided exemplars for young men but responsibility for careful supervision was placed with middle-class parents. As an example, physical recreation was widely endorsed, not only as an instrument of spiritual development but also as a medium for training the young to meet with the diverse challenges of a naturally harsh and competitive world.

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(Gender) partnership as a transforming paradigm for development in the Church and society

(Gender) partnership as a transforming paradigm for development in the Church and society

God’s plan of differentiation of his creatures was not meant to be a disadvantage to others, but was meant to enrich one another. The whole of creation is immersed in community and interdependence. Beauty and splendour are manifested in the partnership of the created beings. God intended it so and the people created in God’s image (women and men) are thus to live in the spirit of partnership. Unfortunately, one of the legacies of the Enlightenment paradigm in human history is the enthronement of ‘autonomous individualism’ and the neglect of community as a way of life. Autonomous individualism was not translated into gender equality with the result that patriarchalism affected society throughout the 19th century, as well as the first half of the 20th century, leaving the Church, for most of its structures, practices and mission, very male-oriented. 2 Women have been the

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The Church in Anglo Saxon Society

The Church in Anglo Saxon Society

The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society surveys a broad sweep from c.550 to 1100. Its opening chapter places the Anglo-Saxon conversion to Christianity in the context of Britain's Roman inheritance and the South East's increasing links with the Continent. At the same time a detailed survey of the evidence reminds us that each region has a story of its own. But most of these stories (Cornwall aside) have a common message: that minsters staffed by groups of clergy were the Anglo-Saxon church, its institutional framework and the resource base for both bishops and low level priests. Bishops might come with ready-made notions of episcopal authority but in practice the power of a great bishop like Wilfrid was rooted in his minsters. At the other end of the spectrum the aristocratic estate churches or mausolea which were common on the Continent were notable by their absence in England. The same cannot be said for minsters: a sample plotting of known minster sites suggests that most people outside the upland areas of England were in easy walking distance of a minster by 800 (p. 152). Central to Blair's argument here is the notion that the whole spectrum of religious foundations containing groups of nuns, monks or priests shared sufficient common characteristics to justify the application of a common term, minster, to all of them. Bede might see a world of difference between a great monastic foundation like Monkwearmouth and the smaller aristocratic foundations which he lambasted but he and his contemporaries did not have a separate vocabulary to distinguish between them: the Latin monasterium and OE mynster were interchangeable and used for all.

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The Church of England in Industrialising Society  The Lancashire Parish of Whalley in the Eighteenth Century

The Church of England in Industrialising Society The Lancashire Parish of Whalley in the Eighteenth Century

end for a system which had given the institutional church a central role in the life of the community. The final two chapters begin to shift the focus a little away from the point of view of the parishioners (though this remains a vital consideration) and on to an analysis of the capacity of the clergy to respond to the situation with which they were faced. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, most of the livings within the parish were of small value but nevertheless maintained a mainly resident clergy. The rest of the century saw an improvement in the value of the livings via the mechanisms created by Queen Anne’s Bounty, but this had two disadvantages. First, the augmentation of the livings occurred via a scheme that resulted in much of the patronage of the rectory falling into private hands, and second, the better paid incumbents of the second half of the century had a greater tendency to non-residence. Neither arrangement proved to be satisfactory. In the earlier period, Whalley’s curates were largely local and undistinguished. Although this had advantages in reducing the social distance between clergy and people, the participation of clergy in a common recreational culture centred on the alehouse, for example, created many opportunities for delinquency. At the same time, their marginal social position left them open to the pressure and even malice of their neighbours. Of the 96 clergy who served in the parish of Whalley between 1689 and 1789 at least 11 or 11.5 per cent were the subject of serious complaint or prosecution – most of these cases occurring before 1750. This cannot have helped the cause of the church, and while the more respectable clergy of the second half of the century may have been less vulnerable in this respect, their greater degree of non-

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ARCS Action Research - Church & Society

ARCS Action Research - Church & Society

A cycle of action research looking at two parishes engaged in the Islington Winter Shelter Network will involve theological reflection on the relation between faith and social justice praxis. This will involve specific groups in the research: shelter guests, volunteers, local parishioners, and church leaders.

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The emergence of civil society in eastern Europe: Church and state in the Czech Republic, 1992 1998

The emergence of civil society in eastern Europe: Church and state in the Czech Republic, 1992 1998

su g g estiv e of a n a n ti-C ath o lic s tr a in a m o n g th e R e p u b lic ’s lead in g political p a rty . O ne of th e first of K la u s’s re m a rk s c am e in J u l y 1993, on th e o ccasio n of a m a s s c o m m em o ra tin g St. M e th o d iu s a t St. V eleh rad . (Pehe, 1994:19). O n th e sa m e day, K lau s w a s a tte n d in g th e fe a st d a y of th e refo rm er J a n H u s w h ich th e G o v e rn m e n t h a d o rg an ized to be o n th e sam e d a y a s th e St. M e th o d iu s c eleb ra tio n s. C zech T elevision gave four h o u rs of live coverage to th e C atholic c e le b ra tio n s a t V elehrad. T his c a u s e d a fu rio u s re a c tio n from K laus w ho, in a n article for a lead in g C zech daily, criticized th e b ro a d c a s ts , alleging fav o u ritism to w a rd s C ath o lics, a n d c o n c lu d in g th a t, “th e C ath o lic C h u rc h h a s b e g u n play in g a role in so ciety t h a t d o e s n o t c o rre sp o n d w ith its real s ta n d in g ” (Kettle, 199 5 :2 2 ; see a lso T he T ab let, 31 J u ly , 1993).66 C h u rc h -S ta te re la tio n s w ere o n ce a g a in on sh a k y g ro u n d s w h en K laus d e scrib e d th e C h u rc h a s “a k in d of R a m b lers A sso ciatio n ”. (The T ablet, 30 O cto b er, 1993; CTK (Czech News Agency, 15 O ctober 1993). He trie d to salvage th e e n s u in g political d eb acle by ex p lain in g t h a t w hile th e C h u rc h w a s n e c e ssa ry , “it sh o u ld n o t p lay a d o m in a n t role” in C zech society. (R eu ters E a s te rn E u ro p e, 2 0 M arch, 1994)

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Satanic Influences in the American Christian Church in a Post-Modern Consumer Society

Satanic Influences in the American Christian Church in a Post-Modern Consumer Society

God ordained for humans, before the foundations of the world, a life that engages pain and suffering inflicted by Satan and his demons. If God is good, it can be argued that Satan, his fallen angels, and demons, and their resultant evil acts do indeed bring glory to God as part of his plan for humankind’s salvation: “In him, we people were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” 100 Demonstrated by the vignette above, many do not see or understand how to manage evil and mitigate its breeding a chain of negative events that can become so devastating to so many. Based on evidences presented in Chapter Two, and in both the Old and New Testaments, as well as writings of early church fathers, some apocryphal books, and commentaries of theologians of the pre-modern world; all testify in unison to the real and present existence of spiritual dark and demonic forces and their influences on all humankind throughout history.

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Church, Society and Religious Change in France, 1580 1730

Church, Society and Religious Change in France, 1580 1730

‘Part Two: Clerical Worlds in Context’ is comprised of four chapters all devoted to the clergy. ‘Clerics and Clergy: The World of the Seculars’ is a magisterial survey of the secular clergy in all of their varied forms. As one might expect Bergin provides an excellent exploration of bishops and other elite clergy, but perhaps the most impressive portion of the chapter deals with the remarkable variety of unbeneficed clergy and the regional variations within this group. As Bergin notes relatively little is known about these clergy who maintained a substantial presence in localities across France. Nevertheless they are important, making up one of the distinctive features of the 17th-century church that would largely disappear by the 19th century. The other three chapters in this part are devoted to the regulars. ‘The Monastic Orders: Adjustment and Survival’ focuses on the monastic regulars that were already firmly established in France by the late Middle Ages. For these orders the 17th century was an important period of expansion through new foundations and of influential reform movements within existing communities. The chapter is most notable for the way that Bergin deftly leads the reader through the bewildering variety of religious orders, reform movements and local circumstances that provide the contours to the monastic experience of the 17th century. The following chapter ‘From Mendicants to Congregations’ opens with a review of the established mendicant tradition in France with particular emphasis on the ongoing influence of the Franciscans during the 17th century – an important subject considering the much greater attention generally given to new orders and congregations. Bergin then shifts his attention to the Jesuits, before introducing the new institution of secular congregations which broke the mould of older medieval models. He concludes the chapter by exploring the impact at the local level of these varied active religious organizations, no easy task considering their number and the regional variations in their activities. The final chapter of part two entitled ‘A Silent Revolution: Women as Regulars’ surveys perhaps the most remarkable development among the regular clergy in the 17th century – the explosion in the number of female regulars and lay sisters and their increased and often novel new roles in charitable, educational and pastoral initiatives. Here again, Bergin places these new developments firmly in the context of medieval precedents. In doing so he highlights how extraordinary the flowering of female regular religious life was in 17th-century France.

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University of New Hampshire University of New Hampshire Scholars' Repository

University of New Hampshire University of New Hampshire Scholars' Repository

and early 1960s) to grow up as Vatican II changes were taking hold (p. 24). Smith et al. alert readers early on to the fact that, as a result of their ex- periences amid a changing Church and society, many of these parents “ were not particularly well-educated in Catholic teachings and were poorly formed in Catholic faith and life ” (p. 26). While the authors emphasize that they are not “ blaming or villainizing ” the emerging adults ’ parents (p. 27), the book ’ s fi ndings and interpretive narrative accent their critical role in the (mostly failed) intergenerational transmission of faith and religious identity (e.g., pp. 76 – 88; see also chap. 5, which analyzes diverse pathways to emerging adulthood religiosity). Another pathway, limited but substantially better than parents in nurturing Catholic identity, is Catholic education (analyzed in chap. 7).

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Coercive agency in mission education at Lovedale Missionary Institution

Coercive agency in mission education at Lovedale Missionary Institution

This is particularly true in the sensitive case of discipline. Mission education imposed a hierarchical and authoritarian approach to discipline and deviation from the norm resulted in exclusion of various forms so as not to contaminate other learners. This was very different from African traditional forms of discipline where counsel (education) was given in order to produce mature members of society and where sanction was reserved for the utterly recalcitrant. It operated on the basis of subsidiarity where both parties, the educator and the learner, possessed authority though of a different kind; the one having the right to educate, for example, and the other to be educated. This will ensure both freedom and communal responsibility and will work towards the empowerment of individuals in community. The development of personal identity is fundamental to this exercise but personal identity can only be formed in relation to others who are also searching for autonomy and therefore, co-operation within a community of equals is vital for the formation of values or, as the missionaries would have it, character, and this is best achieved through religious formation in the family and church community. All who have any knowledge, experience or interest in education will readily admit, education cannot take place in a context devoid of discipline. Lack of discipline, often described as licentiousness, is a sure route to failure both academically and socially. This raises the question of what kind of discipline? Perhaps the best and only sound way forward is to inculcate a strong sense of self-discipline in learners through the development of a regula or set of

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The influence of mass media on church growth in nigeria:  a sociological inquiry

The influence of mass media on church growth in nigeria: a sociological inquiry

The word church is defined by a Greek word ekklesia meaning called out company or assembly. According to Engen (2000:194) as cited in Moreau (2000) it is used to indicate “the consciousness of the early Christians, who saw themselves as the continuation of what God began through the nation of Israel in the wilderness called together by the gospel of Christ to belong to God by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Besides he posits that the word church was used by the Lord Jesus Christ and New Testament writers metaphorically to mean some of the following: the body of Christ, temple, building, household, family, saints, New Israel, New creation and branches of the vine. (Acts 7:38, Ephesians 2:2 & Ephesians 5:25, 32, Heb 19:30-41). The word church as used in this context refers to the people of God indentified as believers in Christ. In contemporary society the word church relates to various denominations and assembly of believers bound together by faith in the lordship of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible.. This work therefore will limit itself to the study of how the members of Redeemed Christian Church of God denomination perceive the impact of mass media on church growth.

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The Scarlet Letter Presents A Sad Tale Of Love And Betrayal Within The Context Of Seventeenth-Century Puritan New England: A Study Between The Struggle And The Individuality Of Hester Prynne

The Scarlet Letter Presents A Sad Tale Of Love And Betrayal Within The Context Of Seventeenth-Century Puritan New England: A Study Between The Struggle And The Individuality Of Hester Prynne

century puritan society. After going through the injustice from the society she showed how a girl can remove the extreme debacle from her life and again stood like a winner. As a heroin Hester Prynne, has conducted in a binary position as a woman in Puritan society. Basically she has exhibited her rebellious nature and tenacity to combat against the exploitation of colonial rulers combined by church and state. The rebellious actions of Hester Prynne proved by her utmost endeavour with the Puritan community. In this way she proved herself as totally different from the traditional women who are always known as a loyal, docile and obedient to the unfair rules offered by society. Hester has won not only the self-reliance in economy, but also in thought. It can be sensed that through the strong character of Hester the maintenance of her individuality among the others in the puritan society was concrete. This paper will try to analyse the sad story of Hester Prynne who has gone through the phase of love and betrayal and also she did struggle to present her strict morals at the respect of her rebellious spirit, self-reliance and strong mind. The values and morals of the Puritan settlement influenced by the society. Within the novel, the individual minor characters and the community as a whole articulated the strict code by which individuals were expected to live and by which they were judged when they engaged in wrong deeds. Hawthorne recreated and emphasised about the struggle between righteousness and sin for the seventeenth century world. Hawthorne explored how the struggle and the public humiliation of a woman has contributed to individual failings that rooted in self-righteousness and self- justification.

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Issues and development trends of modern Icon painting

Issues and development trends of modern Icon painting

Abstract. The article is concerned with topical issues and problem points of modern icon painting: understanding meanings and the mission of the icon in society, position of the Church, issue of the canon in icon painting, commercialization of the icon painter’s work, etc. The main tasks of modern icon painting have been determined. For example, ability to find a harmony of artistic creation and icon painting canon; mastering the icon painting language and icon painting thinking; development of new iconography. Today, development trends of icon painting are seen in the return and preservation of the icon painting canon culture and in the interaction of the state and the Church in terms of the spiritual and professional education of modern icon painters. Today, an example of such an interaction is the joint icon painting department of the Rostov Art College named after M.B. Grekov and the Don Theological Seminary.

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Church, state and national identity: some historical and theological reflections from a Catholic perspective

Church, state and national identity: some historical and theological reflections from a Catholic perspective

Our concerns are more likely to be disinterested, focusing on the social, cultural and spiritual good of the community at large. A few years ago, through the agency of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, I was involved in a symposium entitled “Transcending Poverties” when each of those categories just mentioned came into focus. A Church of Scotland group centred in Glasgow followed it up with an enquiry on how things were seen and addressed at what we describe as ‘grass-roots level’. Underlying it all are the questions of political power sought by those who believe that unless they have governance, backed by a democratic mandate, the things they consider possible cannot be achieved in respect of their own vision of society. (I am tempted to note at this point policies and legal initiatives which have been introduced without a clear democratic mandate, but I will resist the temptation!)

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Professor James Cameron: introduction by a late coming beneficiary

Professor James Cameron: introduction by a late coming beneficiary

The name of James Cameron is upheld in the University of St Andrews’ Reformation Studies Institute, where the ‘James Cameron Faculty Fellowship’ is given each year to a visiting scholar with research interests in the field of Early Modern religious history. Professor Andrew Pettegree spoke warmly of this on the day of our gathering. This has been an invaluable arrangement. In the flourishing of Reformation History across South Street, Divinity has not lost out, but has rather been enriched. And that is how Professor Cameron liked it. In his presidential address to the Ecclesiastical History Society, “The Renaissance Tradition in the Reformed Church of Scotland”, 21 he

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Correlation between Students’ Discipline and Performance in The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

Correlation between Students’ Discipline and Performance in The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

As social organizations, secondary schools have formally established rules and regulations that are used to guide students and the teaching staff. They have common educational goals to pursue and so students have an obligation of working towards achieving the goals. School rules and regulations are formulated with a view of making students to be responsible on social, moral, spiritual and emotional issues. Some rules and regulations are provided by the Ministry of Education (MoE) while others are formulated by the stakeholders of individual schools. Those provided by MoE create harmony among Kenyan students while those for individual schools consider the exclusive social, moral, economic and physical situations of the schools. Nevertheless, both are geared towards forming intellectually, morally, socially and physically grounded youth. To implement the rules and regulations, the government, teachers, parents, church, students and community have big roles to play. Many Kenyan school students as the paper explains have not been performing on KCSE to their potentialities because discipline which is key in performance has been lacking

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