Theology and the churches are often considered to be at the margins of contemporary culture, frequently struggling for identity and attention. In this important new book Martyn Percy argues that a rich form of practical theological engagement is needed if the churches are to comprehend their situation in the modern world, thereby enabling them to engage more confidently with society. Drawing on a range of perspectives in the religion-culture debate, and from case studies in the USA and Europe, the book explores the myriad of ways in which culture is now shaping contemporary Christianity, and how vital an appreciation of this dynamic is for the self-understanding of churches and theology. This book explores the crucial and continuing contribution that theology can make to public life, in an era that is often perceived to be dominated by consumerism and secularity. It will especially appeal to scholars of contemporary religion, practical theologians, and all those who are engaged in ministerial formation.
'I commend Martyn Percy's new book to Anglican and Catholic laity, pastors, theologians, and bishops. All, with his sprightly prose drawing them in, will find themselves joining his search for authentic paths for Christian faith. All will also find something to disagree with. Percy's well-researched work is not a polite chat about how we can all get along better. His practical theology examines lived faith and ordinary life, where Christianity and culture meet.' Thomas Hughson, SJ, Marquette University, Milwaukee, USA 'Martyn Percy has provided an insightful and fresh approach to the dialogue between theology, church and world. He achieves this through a series of penetrating theological sketches touching the everyday life of churches and western culture. The accent is on engagement, the theology is practical and grounded. The result is an intellectually robust, accessible and provocative public theology. He shows himself to be a theologian at the cutting edge of contemporary Christian Theology. A joy to read and plenty of food for further engagement.' Stephen Pickard, School of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Australia 'One reason why this book by Martyn Percy is worth reading is that it asks the sorts of questions that others sometimes avoid. He is happy to accept the ambiguities with which we live, regarding post-modernity as 'more of a mood' than anything else, and is not afraid to challenge the hegemony of trendy movement such as Radical Orthodoxy (described as 'pushy theological bullying').' Church Times 'The book is worthwhile for those who wish to consider varied aspects of the contemporary Church as it engages with the wider culture and as it reflects or is shaped by that culture as well as when it resists that culture and its messages and values.' Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 'This Ashgate series has established itself as a source of solid critical thinking on contemporary Christianity by some important scholars in the field, and
Theological reflection on the church’s practice is now recognised as a significant element in theological studies in the academy and seminary. Routledge's series in practical, pastoral and empirical theology seeks to foster this resurgence of interest and encourage new developments in practical and applied aspects of theology worldwide. This timely series draws together a wide range of disciplinary approaches and empirical studies to embrace contemporary developments including: the expansion of research in empirical theology, psychological theology, ministry studies, public theology, Christian education and faith development; key issues of contemporary society such as health, ethics and the environment; and more traditional areas of concern such as pastoral care and counselling.