A PROPOSED PROGRAMME ILLUSTRATION
Learning Theology avoiding Academic Culture.
Joe Hasler and Jane Winter
Second draft Feb. 2016
The outlines in this programme provide a system of learning which is mindful of academic learning about both ‘Theology’ and ‘How people learn’ as far as we have managed to grasp these subjects. It is, however a collection of ‘Topic Outlines’. They create an opportunity to learn theology for those less inclined to learn from books, but willing to learn in conversation and activity, from their own experiences, and the experiences of others. (All 18 topic outlines are available through the link at the bottom of this page.)
The interventionist who introduces and help
s people engage with these topics will need to flesh out the topics that make up these outlines. This is best done with someone familiar with the culture of those who will participate.
In fact these topics are best delivered by two people. One a theological interventionist, and the other, a local, cultural interpreter, to help people express in their own way of talking.
THE TOPIC OUTLINES
|Constants in Contexts||Learning theology avoiding academic culture|
|Christology||How do I experience God’s presence?||How do I experience Christ’s love?||How do I experience God’s Justice?|
|OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN||HOLY IS YOUR NAME||YOUR KINGDOM COME|
|Ecclesiology||What is church to me?||How do I experience church as a people of love?||How do I experience church as a people of Justice?|
|OUR FATHER -the church||YOUR WILL BE DONE||IN EARTH AS IN HEAVEN|
|Eschatology||What does dying to myself and rising to new life mean?||How does church experience ‘dying and rising to new life’ together?||In the interest of God’s justice when do we ‘give way’ and when do we ‘stand up’?|
|FORGIVE US AS WE FORGIVE||KEEP US FROM THE TIME OF TRIAL||SAVE US FRROM THE EVIL ONE|
|Salvation||How is our future in God lived now? By me?||How is our future in God lived now? By us as church?||How do we experience church as a sign of OUR FUTURE IN GOD to the world and vice versa?|
|GIVE US TODAY TOMORROWS BREAD.||WHO IS AND WAS…||….AND IS TO COME|
|Anthropology||Who am I in relation to God?||How do we describe ourselves as the people of God?||What does God call us to?|
|THE KINGDOM IS YOURS||THE POWER IS YOURS||THE GLORY IS YOURS|
|Culture||How do we do things in this place?||How do I understand the cultures of the local community?||Where does God cry out for Justice?|
|US and NOW||AND FOREVER||AMEN|
Notes on the above.
1. For a lot of people theology begins in spirituality. For some it is all right to proceed if it is grounded in scripture. For me it needs to be grounded in the spirituality of Jesus. I am made more confident if my questions can be associated with the questions, demands and assertions of JESUS in his prayer. It so happens that the Lord’s Prayer is both ‘spirituality’ and ‘scriptural’. Is this a way testing that we might have got the right questions?
2. Bevans and Schroder in Constant in Context show that the constants in every age are the questions of Christology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Soteriology, Anthropology and Culture. Bevans and Schroder ‘s constants in past contexts are also likely to be valuable in our time. (i.e. if we are to stay firmly within the Christian tradition.) We note the constants are the questions and not the answers they provoked in previous times and places. When I ask the question about what people need to learn, I am moved to think about these constants in our time and age and cultures.
3. The classic Anglican position is that our Theology is rooted in Tradition, Scripture and Reason. I can’t remember who but someone said that Liberation Theologies, for example, typified a shift from reason toward experience. I think that experience is very important if we are to restore theology to the people. I believe that experience is basic and that the big ideas of historical theology should find their place in affirming this. (It is a way of connecting with the theological tradition without being swallowed up by academic culture.) This approach is not only more effective from an educational point of view but also helps inculturate, and help embeds theology, within the various subcultures of our time. It is part of a mission strategy.
4. The topic outlines set out to avoid academic culture. The reader will notice that the purpose for the topics adopt the pathway of the ‘pastoral cycle ’ (See for example Laurie Green,’ Lets do Theology’.) choosing to end with action. Those who do not take kindly to academic learning are in my opinion likely to learn more by making action as the beginning and end. The purpose that they would look for is the purpose of action. If we constantly go on about learning; especially when learning is about what we call ‘theology’ this would be seen as just trying to be clever.
The link below will give you 18 topic plans that you will need to develop according to your own context. They will cover the theology topics we have suggested in the framework above.