Sharing Friendship: Exploring Anglican Character, Vocation, Witness and Mission, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sharing Friendship

Exploring Anglican Character, Vocation, Witness and Mission, 1st Edition

By John B. Thomson


282 pages

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Paperback: 9781138053342
pub: 2017-03-31
Hardback: 9781472454522
pub: 2015-05-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315608914
pub: 2016-03-03
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Sharing Friendship represents a post-liberal approach to ecclesiology and theology generated out of the history, practices and traditions of the Anglican Church. Drawing on the theological ethics of Stanley Hauerwas, this book explores the way friendship for the stranger emerges from contextually grounded reflection and conversations with contemporary Anglican theologians within the English tradition, including John Milbank, Oliver O’Donovan, Rowan Williams, Daniel Hardy and Anthony Thiselton. Avoiding abstract definitions of character, mission or friendship, John Thomson explores how the history of the English Church reflects a theology of friendship and how discipleship in the New Testament, the performance of worship, and the shape of Anglican ecclesiology are congruent with such a theology. The book concludes by rooting the theme of sharing friendship within the self-emptying kenotic performance of Jesus’ mission, and looks at challenges to the character of contemporary Anglican ecclesiology represented by secularization and globalization as well as by arguments over appropriate new initiatives such as Fresh Expressions.


’Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, Thomson develops an account of friendship to help us better understand how to be church in the world in which we find ourselves. I am humbled by Thomson’s use of my work for shaping the argument of this book. But then, that is what friends do, that is, shape one another. I am so fortunate that Thomson claims me as a friend.’ Stanley Hauerwas, Professor Emeritus, Duke Divinity School, USA ’Thomson touches with distaste on the modern celebrity culture, but recognises that it is a culture at least offering conversation points� with those of Christian conviction. Fresh Friendship� entitles a discussion of the Fresh Expressions Movement. Thomson’s appraisal of this movement is cool, patient, and measured.’ Church Times

About the Author

John B. Thomson is Bishop of Selby in the Diocese of York. He has been Director of Ministry in the Diocese of Sheffield, vicar of an inner urban parish, a theological educator in England and South Africa and a youth chaplain in a suburban parish. He has lived and worked in central and southern Africa and in South Yorkshire, England. Published works include The Ecclesiology of Stanley Hauerwas: A Christian Theology of Liberation (2003), Church on Edge? Practising Christian Ministry Today (2004), DOXA: A Discipleship Course (2007) and Living Holiness: Stanley Hauerwas and the Church (2010). He has also written a number of articles on church, ministry and mission most recently ’Sharing Friendship: God’s Love in Ordinary Church Life’ in Jeff Astley and Leslie J Francis, eds., Exploring Ordinary Theology - Dimensions of Everyday Christian Existence and the Life of the Church (2013) and 'Let us cook you your tea, vicar!' Church, hermeneutics and postmodernity in the work of Anthony Thiselton and Stanley Hauerwas’ in Stanley E. Porter and Matthew Malcolm, eds., Hermeneutics, Paul and Theology: A Festschrift in Honor of Anthony C. Thiselton (2013).

About the Series

Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology

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.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / History
RELIGION / Theology