Counter-Imperial Churching for a Planetary Gospel

Counter-Imperial Churching for a Planetary Gospel

Radical Discipleship for Today

by Timothy Murphy

“We live in an era that requires us to radicalize what ‘church’ means.”

So declares Timothy Murphy in this bold new ecclesiology that weaves together process theology and political philosophy. Murphy argues that the root problems an ecclesiology must address today are not primarily doctrinal, nor are they solely focused on a church’s self-enclosed internal life. It is to the world, the planet and its innumerable relationships, both liberating as well as destructive, that an ecclesiology should respond. In the context of globalizing Empire, where economic systems function as faiths, and planetary depredation is the norm, church must become a counter-witness to the ideologies of neo-liberal economic theory and free-market capitalism. Churches should seek to enact and witness to an alternative conceptualization of how people can live and interact with each other in more healing and just ways. If existing faith communions will not or cannot address this situation adequately, then new faith communities need to emerge as radical witnesses and partners for social transformation.

From the introduction: “Being church, or churching as following the way of Jesus, compels responses to what is most significant to this context. If we want to save the world from ecological devastation, we must challenge the economic systems of Empire. More importantly, we have to challenge the values that justify such devastation, particularly the logic of sacrificing others for some ideal. As resistance for the sake of resistance is not enough, churching will offer an alternative vision to aim towards and proclaim a different value-system through applied process thought that undergirds resistance even as it does not become another dogmatic foundation. By living out and proclaiming an alternative value system for the world, a radical ecclesiology addresses the real crises we face together and offers hope that another world is possible.”

Table of Contents
1.     Introduction
2.    Proclaiming the Planetary Gospel: A Process Cosmology and Theory of Value
3.    Practicing Differentiated Solidarity via Social Ontology, Mutual Interest, and Encounter
4.    Political Influences in the Struggle for (and Struggles of) Radical Discipleship
5.    Prehending Missional, Processual, and Indecent Ecclesiologies
6.     Living Out Counter-Imperial Churching


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