Culture represents an indispensable and indeed fundamental part of human life. It is an expression of what it means to be human. Culture does not only appeal to the aesthetic faculties of human beings. It also facilitates communication between people. More importantly, it helps humans to make sense of the world and their existence; it is a means of finding one’s own place in the world, both individually and collectively.
It is essential that Christians be deeply and seriously engaged both in discussions on culture as well as in practical “culture-making”. One must never forget, however, that Christians do not stand outside of human culture; they indeed are – and ought to be – part of it. Truly, even the gospel itself is deeply rooted in a particular culture. Nevertheless, it does not diminish the call of the Christians to encounter their culture(s) critically and perceptively.
Missiology, with its deep attention to and understanding for (inter-)cultural realities, ought to be at the forefront of such engagement and exploration. That is also the major reason why the CEEAMS decided to establish a study group focused specifically on the analysis of, inquiry into and reflection on various and complex relations between the gospel and culture.
Aims of the study group:
- To explore various dimensions of the interaction between the gospel and culture from a missiological perspective
- To study different contextual expressions of Christian faith in various settings
- To theorize different views of the gospel and culture and to critically examine the existing theories
- To examine various methodological approaches to the gospel and culture from a missiological perspective and to formulate new ones
- To study expressions of the interaction between the gospel and culture throughout the history of theristian movement
- And others…
- Revisit R. Niebuhr’s famous typology from Christ and Culture from a missiological perspective to explore its relevant implications for today
- Critical analysis of the concept of power (ideology, hegemony) in the interplay between the gospel and culture with a particular respect to the context of post-communist countries
- Development and missiological critique of CEE contextual theologies
- Encouraging the study group members to pursue their own research projects from the field, ideally in cooperation with colleagues from other CEE contexts
Study group convener: Pavol Bargar