Reforms and processes of change have become an increasingly pervasive characteristic of European Protestant churches in the last fifteen to twenty years. Driven by perceptions of crises, such as declining membership rates, dwindling finances, decreasing participation in church rituals, and less support of traditional church doctrine, but also changes of governance of religion more generally, many churches feel compelled to explore new forms of operations, activities, and organizational structures. What is the inner dynamic and nature of these processes? This book explores this question by applying perspectives from organizational studies and bringing them into dialogue with ecclesiological categories, seeking to provide a richer understanding of the field of processes of change in churches. Among the questions asked are: What are the implications--organizationally and ecclesiologically--of viewing reform as a church practice, and how does this relate to much more comprehensive waves of public sector reforms? How is church leadership configured and exercised, how is democratic leadership related to the authority of ordained ministry, and how does leadership take on new forms in the context of churches? And how do churches incorporate organizational practices of planned change and renewal, such as social entrepreneurship? ""National Protestant Churches are challenged from below and from above, and from all sides, to adopt to the modern management standards of theirs societies. Is this what the continuing reformation of Protestant churches should look like? The analyses in these well-researched papers are critical but also aware of the dilemmas facing the churches."" --Hans Raun Iversen, Director of Center for Church Research, University of Copenhagen ""This fine collection of essays provides unique insights for an English-speaking audience, especially regarding the development in the Nordic churches in times of change. Through their theoretical grounding and comparative potential, the studies also provide valuable insights for readers in other contexts."" --Harald Hegstad, Professor of Systematic Theology, MF Norwegian School of Theology Ulla Schmidt is professor of practical theology at Aarhus University, Denmark, School of Culture and Society. She has researched and published extensively on church reform processes, in particular church-state reforms and reforms of church governance in the Nordic countries. Harald Askeland is professor of religious organization and leadership at Diakonhjemmet University College, Norway, Dept. of Diakonia and Leadership. He has researched and published on leadership and organizational issues in churches and church-related organizations.
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