Preaching after Christendom

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Sarah Travis
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Cascade Books
    , July
     142 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Post-Christendom, Christian leaders and preachers in North America struggle to respond to anxiety and despair about the future of the church. Declining participation, fewer resources, decreased influence, and confusion about pastoral and ecclesial identity lead to fear for the survival of the institutional church. Preaching must speak to the despair and confusion faced by congregations today, as well as cast a hopeful vision for an uncertain future. This book argues that preachers can change the narrative of the church post-Christendom, by urging an exit from Christendom ecclesiology and promoting the construction of an identity that embraces vulnerability and incarnation instead of power and permanence. Counterintuitively, failure, decrease, and marginalization constitute good news for the church. Through wide-ranging conversation partners including postcolonial theory and theology, social science, systematic theology, and homiletic literature, this book engages preachers and scholars who seek to reimagine both gospel and ecclesial identity in order to bring new life to communities in despair. Preachers participate in a process of metamorphosis, in which the church’s self-understanding is transformed into a vulnerable, incarnate community that leaves behind the character of Christendom.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Sarah Travis is minister of the Chapel at Knox College, Toronto School of Theology. She is the author of Decolonizing Preaching: The Pulpit as Postcolonial Space (2014).


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