The Church for the World: A Theology of Public Witness

Paperback | March 5, 2014

byJennifer Mcbride

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Drawing on the writings of German pastor-theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jennifer M. McBride constructs a groundbreaking theology of public witness for Protestant church communities in the United States. In contrast to the triumphal manner in which many Protestants have engaged the publicsphere, The Church for the World shows how the church can offer a nontriumphal witness to the lordship of Christ through repentant activity in public life. After investigating current Christian conceptions of witness in the United States, McBride offers a new theology for repentance as public witness, based on Bonhoeffer's thought concerning Christ, the world, and the church. McBride takes up Bonhoeffer's proposal that repentance may be reinterpreted"non-religiously," expanding and challenging common understandings of the concept. Finally, she examines two church communities that exemplify ecclesial commitments and practices rooted in confession of sin and repentance. Through these communities she demonstrates that confession and repentance maybe embodied in various ways yet also discerns distinguishing characteristics of a redemptive public witness.The Church for the World offers important insights about Christian particularity and public engagement in a pluralistic society as it provides a theological foundation for public witness that is simultaneously bold and humble: when its mode of being in the world is confession of sin unto repentance,the church demonstrates Christ's redemptive work and becomes a vehicle of concrete redemption.

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Drawing on the writings of German pastor-theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jennifer M. McBride constructs a groundbreaking theology of public witness for Protestant church communities in the United States. In contrast to the triumphal manner in which many Protestants have engaged the publicsphere, The Church for the World shows how the c...

Jennifer M. McBride is Board of Regents Chair in Ethics and Assistant Professor of Religion at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. She received her doctorate in philosophical theology from the Religious Studies Department at the University of Virginia and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Religious Practices and Practical Theology at Emory ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:March 5, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199367949

ISBN - 13:9780199367948

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsPart I: Public Witness in a Pluralistic Society1. Introduction: Confession and Repentance as Public Witness2. Evaluating Public Witness in the United StatesPart II: A Theology of Public Witness Based on Bonhoeffer's Thought3. Christ's Public Presence: The Foundation and Form for Ecclesial Witness4. Belonging: Participation in the World's Christological Pattern5. The Church's Public Presence: Visibility through Confession and RepentancePart III: Contours of a Repenting Church6. The Eleuthero Community: Confession and Repentance through Unlearning and Learning Anew7. The Southeast White House: A Local Presence in a Neglected NeighborhoodConclusion: Concrete Implications of an Ecclesial Witness Based on RepentanceNotesSelected BibliographyIndex