Seeking to dynamically alter the way that theologians, ecclesiologists, students of religion and ministers look at the relationship between church and society, this book takes religion, politics and society as basic categories and explores how oft-overlooked issues are in fact highly significant for the shaping of theological and ecclesiological horizons. The Ecclesial Canopy is not, however, simply about reading meanings into religion, politics and society. Rather, it sets out to faithfully interpret much of the material that surrounds us, yet is often taken for granted or unnoticed. Paying close and patient attention to beliefs, language, artefacts, rituals, practices and other material - all of which are constitutive for ecclesial life and theological identity - this book offers an invitation of engagement to the scholar or minister. The Ecclesial Canopy makes a significant and important contribution to the field of pastoral and practical theology. Building on the concepts of implicit and invisible religion, Martyn Percy offers a fresh and original interpretative 'take' on contemporary society, appealing to clergy, laity, scholars and all those working in the field of theory and reflective practice in practical and pastoral theology.
Martyn Percy was Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon, from 20104-14. He is a Professor of Theological Education at King’s College London and Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London. He writes on Christianity and contemporary culture, modern ecclesiology and practical theology. His recent books include Thirty-Nine Articles: An Anglican Landscape of Faith (Canterbury Press, 2013) and Anglicanism: Confidence, Commitment and Communion (Ashgate, 2013). He was recently described in the journal Theology as the British Theologian who is closest to being a ’missionary anthropologist’. In 2014, he was appointed Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. .
'In this third book of his trilogy on ecclesiology Martyn Percy unfolds a vision for the church. Percy's well known gifts as theologian and writer shine through the lively and insightful theological sketches in this volume. The author speaks of a living, breathing church with remarkable capacities for renewing social life. The result is an imaginative, attractive and engaging spirituality of the church in contemporary culture. Faith, hope and charity emerge as key marks of an ecclesial canopy. The book is an engaging, wise and stimulating commentary on the persistence of religion in western society.' The Rt. Rev'd Dr Stephen Pickard, Director Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology, Ripon Theological College Cuddesdon, Oxford ’The ebb-tide of secularization has left many stranded with a sense of something, including some visible church practices and presences, missing. Canon Martyn Percy sets forth an original, pastorally-inflected theological reflection inspired by Daniel Wayne Hardy and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Percy surveys the utilities, benefits, and socially constitutive meanings of Christianity in light of social science yet within a larger focus on God above all things and accessible in all things. Christians in all traditions will appreciate an Anglican cultural analysis not cast in iron-clad categories of culture war polemics. In proposing ecclesial spirituality and ecclesial intelligence, Percy steers readers away from the conventional ease of spirituality without religion and believing without belonging and in line with the Incarnation he underlines the importance of concreteness not only in the humanity of Jesus but in visible presences of Jesus’ very human churches. Percy spices clear, readable theology with wry humour even when dealing with the plague of consumerism, with sin and society, with the challenge of public truth in pluralist societies, and with hope for ecclesial praxis animated by charity.’ R