'By placing culture at the heart of practical theology, Pete Ward opens up new ways of thinking about the ways in which divine presence, theology and cultural life are deeply inter-twined. This is conceptually-rich work that will be invaluable for people wanting to make meaningful connections between theirunderstanding of God and their cultural practices in different ministerial and every-day life settings. Participation and Mediation creates new possibilties for how people do practical theology and deserves to be widely read.'Gordon Lynch, Professor of Sociology of Religion, Birkbeck, University of London'With appreciation for youth perspectives and cultural theorists, Pete Ward powerfully conveys the challenges facing Christians and churches today. He offers an alternative to conventional views, calling us beyond present structures into greater engagement with cultural realities. His is a thoroughly practical theological vision, at once demanding and encouraging.'James Nieman, Professor of Practical Theology, Hartford Institute for Religion Research'In a culture which has been taught the impossibility of God and the irrelevance of the gospel it is difficult to see why theology might matter. Pete Ward offers us a different vision; a vision that takes both theology and culture seriously in ways that make it possible to see ourselves and our culture differently and in so doing begin genuinely to live as church. Wardmakes an important and much needed contribution to cultural studies and helps us to remember that practical theology is first and foremost theology. Theology matters!'John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, University of AberdeenTo make sense of the contemporary nature of the Church we must understand theway that encounter with God is mediated by cultural expression. Through participation in expression the contemporary Church is both a lived in 'culture'while it is also 'in-dwelt' by the Trinitarian God. Participation and Mediation explores the cultural and theological nature of the contemporary Church.The book divides into three parts. The first discusses modern theology, mission studies and practical theology as part of a converging on the cultural. It setsPractical Theology within a wider theological discussion within modernity and a turn to 'culture'. The second part argues for a theological approach to Practical Theology based on a theology of participation and mediation. Therelationship between theology and the operation of media is discussed. Part Three deals with the Liquid Nature of the Church based around the ChristianCulture industry, commodification and identity.Pete Ward is Senior Lecturer in Youth Ministry and Theological Education at King's College, London, UK.