Unlearning Protestantism: Sustaining Christian Community in an Unstable Age - eBook  -     By: Gerald W. Schlabach
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Unlearning Protestantism: Sustaining Christian Community in an Unstable Age - eBook

Brazos Press / 2010 / ePub

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Product Description

This insightful book addresses the "Protestant dilemma" in ecclesiology: how to build lasting Christian community in a world of individualism and transience. Gerald Schlabach, a former Mennonite who is now Catholic, seeks not to encourage readers to abandon Protestant churches but to unlearn lessons that are no longer productive. He explains that what may have been virtues in the early years of the Protestant Reformation have now become vices that corrode community life. For example, Luther's courage to stand on conscience has become, in our individualistic age, an excuse to avoid the hard work of living together in community.

Unlearning Protestantism encourages readers to relearn certain virtues that all Christian communities need to sustain their communal lives. Schlabach offers a vision for the right and faithful roles of authority, stability, and loyal dissent in Christian communal life. He tries to make sense of the yearning for a new kind of catholicity that Christians of multiple denominations are demonstrating through liturgical renewal, the recovery of ancient Christian spiritual practices, and other alliances and crossovers.

This book will be useful in theology and ecclesiology courses. It deals with issues that transcend denominations and will appeal to all readers, both Catholic and Protestant, who are interested in sustaining Christian tradition and community over time.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9781441212634
ISBN-13: 9781441212634
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

In this clearly written and insightful book, Gerald Schlabach addresses the "Protestant dilemma" in ecclesiology: how to build lasting Christian community in a world of individualism and transience. Schlabach, a former Mennonite who is now Catholic, seeks not to encourage readers to abandon Protestant churches but to relearn some of the virtues that all Christian communities need to sustain their communal lives. He offers a vision for the right and faithful roles of authority, stability, and loyal dissent in Christian communal life. The book deals with issues that transcend denominations and will appeal to all readers, both Catholic and Protestant, interested in sustaining Christian tradition and community over time.

Author Bio

Gerald W. Schlabach (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is professor of theology and director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the founder and director of Bridgefolk, a movement of Mennonites and Roman Catholics who come together to celebrate each other's traditions, explore each other's practices, and honor each other's contribution to the mission of Christ's church. He is also the author or editor of several books.

Endorsements

"In this fascinating, scintillating book, Gerald Schlabach shows how absolutely crucial the practice of stability and the virtue of fidelity are for sustaining Christian communities today. If the inevitable tensions, conflicts, and disagreements that strain communal life are not to destroy it, Christians must learn how to stay together as they build communities that more faithfully witness Christ. Perhaps most important is Schlabach's claim that loyal dissent, far from being a threat to a community and its traditions, is rooted in a community's traditions and aims to enrich them. Loyal dissent, as an expression of stability and faithfulness, is precisely what a pilgrim people needs as it journeys together to God. Thoughtful, insightful, and refreshingly challenging, Schlabach's Unlearning Protestantism is a gift for Christians whose impatience with imperfect communities tempts them to forget that God is present in the very ordinary--and often trying--circumstances of our lives."
--Paul J. Wadell, professor of religious studies, St. Norbert College

"The question before Christians today is not whether the Reformation is over but, as Gerald Schlabach frames it so well, whether Protestants will be able to sustain faithful Christian communities over time apart from a serious engagement with the Catholic tradition. Written in an accessible and winsome style, this book needs to be read by every scholar and layperson interested in the unity and witness of the church in a world that for the most part no longer even pays lip service to the God Christians worship. In particular, Schlabach's treatment of the relationship between stability and dissent is nothing short of masterful."
--Barry Harvey, professor of theology, Honors College, Baylor University

"Many of us Protestants are not Catholic enough to know what we are protesting. This book is a unique celebration of the stability of Catholicism while also recognizing that the church needs a revolution every few hundred years. A monumental step toward the unity Jesus dreamed of as he prayed that the church would be one as God is one."
--Shane Claiborne, author and activist, www.thesimpleway.org

Publisher Description

This insightful book addresses the "Protestant dilemma" in ecclesiology: how to build lasting Christian community in a world of individualism and transience. Gerald Schlabach, a former Mennonite who is now Catholic, seeks not to encourage readers to abandon Protestant churches but to unlearn lessons that are no longer productive. He explains that what may have been virtues in the early years of the Protestant Reformation have now become vices that corrode community life. For example, Luther's courage to stand on conscience has become, in our individualistic age, an excuse to avoid the hard work of living together in community.

Unlearning Protestantism encourages readers to relearn certain virtues that all Christian communities need to sustain their communal lives. Schlabach offers a vision for the right and faithful roles of authority, stability, and loyal dissent in Christian communal life. He tries to make sense of the yearning for a new kind of catholicity that Christians of multiple denominations are demonstrating through liturgical renewal, the recovery of ancient Christian spiritual practices, and other alliances and crossovers.

This book will be useful in theology and ecclesiology courses. It deals with issues that transcend denominations and will appeal to all readers, both Catholic and Protestant, who are interested in sustaining Christian tradition and community over time.

Publisher's Weekly

A Catholic and former Mennonite, Schlabach makes clear from the outset that his book is not about persuading Protestants to convert to Catholicism. But the associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., and director of the Bridgefolk Mennonite-Catholic movement proposes that Protestants have something important to learn from Catholics: the practice of stability that keeps them together despite their differences. Schlabach believes the very virtues that allowed Protestant reformers to take courageous stands centuries ago have morphed into vices that now undermine community life, keeping Protestants from the hard work of living together. Conversely, he says, Catholics stay together amid disputes by exercising stability, fidelity, and "loyal dissent." Although Schlabach allows that some situations require "protest, dissent and perhaps even prophetic departure for a time," he calls on all Christians to nurture virtues and practices that make it possible for them to pursue reform while sustaining their communal lives. This thoughtful and groundbreaking work will speak to Protestants and Catholics alike. (Apr.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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