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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

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    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
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    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
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    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
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    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
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Entries in John Wesley (2)

Monday
Oct272014

Public Lecture: Dr David Field - John Wesley as Public Theologian

UPDATED 28 October 2014.

Last night Dr David Field delivered a wonderful lecture on John Wesley as a Public Theologian under the auspices of the Beyers Naude Center for Public Theology in the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University.

Some friends asked that we record the lecture since they were not able to attend.  David kindly agreed.

You can download an MP3 copy of the lecture here.  You can download a copy of David's Powerpoint Slides from this link.

Please only use these slides and the recorded lecture for private use.  If you would like to make use of them in any other way please contact me and I will put you in contact with David to get his permission.

Details on the lecture and on David Field are found in the original post below.

Dr. David N. Field, the Methodist e-Academy - John Wesley as Public Theologian

A Critical Dialogue with a view to Contemporary Praxis

While John Wesley is primarily known for his work as an evangelist and founder of Methodism, towards the end of his life when he was a respected religious leader, he addressed a number of political issues taking on the role of what we would today call a public theologian. He wrote on economic policy, the American War of Independence, constitutional struggles in Britain and the slave trade. His pamphlet Thoughts upon Slavery provides fascinating example of public theology, which while deeply rooted in Wesley’s theology uses the language and ideas that seek to address a more pluralistic audience.  The presentation will provide a brief analysis of Thoughts upon Slavery, followed by critical engagement with both his ideas and the way he sought to communicate them. Finally it will make some proposals as to what can be learnt from Wesley for contemporary public theology.


David N. Field is a South African presently living in Basel, Switzerland where he is the academic coordinator of the Methodist e-Academy which is an online education project which provided supplementary education for people preparing for ordained ministry in Methodist Churches in Europe and further education courses for pastors and lay leaders. He is a research fellow at Unisa and at the Australasian Centre for Wesleyan Studies, a member of the Oxford Institute of Methodist Studies and the secretary of the Association of Methodist Related Theological Schools in Europe. He has represented the United Methodist Church’s Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe in ecumenical discussions on theological education and was a faculty member of the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute in Busan Korea in 2013. He is a graduate of the University of South Africa and the University of Cape Town. His Ph.D. research was on eco-theology in the Reformed Tradition.  He has taught systematic theology and theological ethics at the former University of Transkei and at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. His main research interest lies in Methodist theology and ethics, and is he presently working on a long term project seeking to develop a contemporary Methodist political/public theology and a theological ethic rooted in the Methodist tradition. In addition he has research interests in eco-theology, the theology and ethics of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and various theologies of liberation particularly those that have emerged in Southern Africa.<

Thursday
Nov012007

Was John Wesley "Emergent"? - an interesting thought!

My friend Jenny Sprong posted a link to the following very interesting article to a list for Methodist ministers.

I think the notion has quite a bit of merit... Although, one should always take care in trying to fit contemporary categories to persons, or approaches, from bygone eras!

Andrew Jones writes, “The emerging church might well be a protest (Don Carson) but it might also be a corrective measure to the excesses and imbalances of the reformation and the Enlightenment. Let the Reformation continue.”

Writing in the Advent/Christmas 2007-2008 issue of the Church of the Nazarene’s Preaching Magazine, Hal Knight (no relation), Professor of Wesleyan Studies at St. Paul’s School of Theology in Kansas City, writes about “John Wesley and the Emerging Church.” Keith Drury has helpfully summarized Knight’s points of comparison in this nifty table (HT).

Graduate student and research assistant/reader-grader Kalev Hinrich summarizes Knight’s article: “John Wesley has been turned into a leading Emergent, postmodern theologian who not only endorses Generous Orthodoxy from his grave, but was its leading founder without knowing it.”

Hinrich offers a pretty lengthy critique, concluding: “In short, Wesley becomes a gracious liberal theologian … but given the context of [Knight’s] argument, so does the Emergent Church and postmodernism. The grand conclusion: The postmodernism and the Emergent Church are basically new forms of liberal modernity, and nothing could be further from the truth.”

Both the original article and Hinrich’s response are interesting reads.

Please follow the links in the article to get the meat of the post... I think it is quite sound and sensible!

What do you think?

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