Ogden, Steven, G. 2017. The Church, Authority, and Foucault: Imagining the Church as an Open Space of Freedom. London and New York: Routledge.
Steven Ogden is the Parish Priest at St Oswald’s Anglican Church, Parkside, Adelaide, SA.
The Church, Authority, and Foucault is an outstanding book, an original work on the Anglican Church of Australia. Key learning questions manual the reader at the manner to the belief, which will become a starting point for similarly communication. The mastering questions are: How does authority truly function inside the Church? (sixty seven) and, in light of the new know-how of the Church proposed at some stage in the book, how will we exchange the ecclesial lifestyle? (158)
Ogden articulates the weaknesses of the Anglican Church of Australia and appears in the direction of, outlines and argues convincingly for a church tradition which expresses a Gospel and ekklesia vocation of the Christian church in an Australian Anglican context.
This is a massive-picture booklet, complicated, innovative and theologically sensible with an eye fixed on wondering in a different way approximately ministry exercise. As the author wrote, “…the book is a theological exercise in questioning in any other case” (four). Throughout the paintings, the author creatively makes use of, explores and discusses the ideas and writing of the French philosopher Michel Foucault, 1926-1984, a valuable communique partner.
Ogden provideseventualities, describing and analysingone of a kind church cultures for the Anglican Church in Australia and maybe other churches. The cause is to make a case for transferring the church from situation one in the direction of state of affairs two.
The first situation is of a church culture described as a practice of empire, a church “underneath sovereign power, that’s hierarchical, focusing at the instrumental value of persons and pursuing order over love. It is inherently extraordinary, a way of life of conformity, partly because of a dedication to unitary speech (discourses) and uniform behaviours, but additionally due to a lack of crucial cognizance” (4). This sovereign power over human beings reflects a monarchical church version, that’s reminiscent of the Christendom era of Church records. This sort of church subculture is still a reality in which bishops and senior clergy exercising energy with a experience of entitlement and ecclesial privilege, now and again the usage of the strength of veto. Particular examples of such behaviour are defined. The e book’s author wrote that situation one type of church tradition dobrovol.org needs to be unlearned (a hundred forty five).
A 2d state of affairs of church culture is defined as an “open area of freedom,” an area of viable transformation. Those words open area of freedom are quoted from Foucault’s writing (three). The phrases “open area of freedom” describe a church tradition, which values strength to, with and amongst human beings. It values shared authority and leadership in a Christian space, a space hooked up by way of Jesus and his friends, and the early church in its expertise of ekklesia, a gathering or meeting of equals in discipleship. Chapter Five explains and explores the biblical verse Galatians three: 28 in its context, and describes the word ekklesia, an open, hospitable, inclusive, democratic and transparent space in religion groups. Ogden wrote, “This isn’t always church as empire, however ekklesia the democratic space. There aren’t any sovereign exceptions here, however an open faith network, which means the Church is open to the understanding of others” (one hundred forty five). New meanings and possibilities emerge (Chapter Seven).
In the light of scenario two, Ogden names, describes and explores the fault traces or “traces of fragility” (sixty six) of the Anglican Church of Australia in relation to authority, leadership and culture. For example, the case look at in Chapter Three examines the problem of the Church’s enmeshment with sovereign power and the way it marginalises laity, clergy and minority businesses through being oriented in the direction of the practice of electricity over others. Injustices in Anglican Church lifestyles are named, exposed and discussed in a respectful and conversational way. A charming account of the way gossip features within the Church is offered (fifty six-62). Child abuse is discussed (7-9). Bullying is mentioned (93-ninety five). Ogden wrote “In all this, the ecclesial discursive practices of poor gossip and hate speech are hardly Christ-like” (62). Importantly, the e book gives new opportunities and some answers for the renewal of the Anglican Church of Australia, renewal with biblical and theological foundations.
One start line for similarly communication about sensible methods ahead for parishes, dioceses and General Synod would be to recall that situation one and situation two are on a spectrum or continuum, instead of being supplied as an both/or choice. Scenario one might be depicted at one stop of the continuum, and situationon the alternative stop, with the vicinity in between representing the diverse tiers in growing a church culture. Such a continuum provides church buildings with a sensible guide as the management and contributors identify their church subculture.
Ogden has written a courageous and honest theological e-book with a watch on ministry practice. Potential and feasible ways of practicing ministry in light of situation two are yet to be fully identified and articulated.