The February 2012 Nomad podcast features Pete Ward.
Ward is the author of the very thought provoking 2001 publication Liquid Church (This book is a vision for how the church can embrace the liquid nature of culture rather than just scrambling to keep afloat while sailing over it. Pete Ward presents his vision of a Liquid Church that addresses the needs of the isolated consumer-Christian by providing connection and community, located in common cause and similar desire for God); and more recently Participation and Mediation: A Practical Theology for the Liquid Church (“By placing culture at the heart of practical theology, Pete Ward opens up new ways of thinking about the ways in which divine presence, theology and cultural life are deeply inter-twined. This is conceptually-rich work that will be invaluable for people wanting to make meaningful connections between their understanding of God and their cultural practices in different ministerial and every-day life settings…” Gordon Lynch).
He has a new title (he’s the editor) out in March or May 2012 (Eerdmans) Perspectives on Ecclesiology
and Ethnography. It’s the first of so-far two publications in the new Ecclesiology and Ethnography Series (Eerdmans) and collects papers from symposia on the Ecclesiology and Ethnography.
Contents of the Ward edited book
Introduction – Pete Ward
Part One: The Proposal
- Ecclesiology and Ethnography: two disciplines, two worlds? – Paul Fiddes
- Attention and Conversation – Pete Ward
- Ecclesiology ‘From the Body’: Ethnographic Notes Towards a Carnal Theology – Christian Scharen
- “Where is your church?”: Moving towards a hospitable and sanctified ethnography – John Swinton
Part Two: The Conversation
- Charting the ‘Ethnographic Turn’: Theologians and the Study of Christian Congregations – Elizabeth Phillips
- The Cultivation of Theological Vision: Theological Attentiveness and the Practice of Ministry – Alister E. McGrath
- Interpreting a Situation: When is ‘Empirical’ Also ‘Theological’? – Mary McClintock Fulkerson
- Generating Christian Political Theory and The Uses of Ethnography- Luke Bretherton
- Practical Ecclesiology: what counts as theology in studying the church?- Clare Watkins (with Deborah Bhatti, Helen Cameron, Catherine Duce & James Sweeney
- Ecclesiology, Ethnography and God: An Interplay of Reality Descriptions- Nicholas M. Healy
- ‘In the society of God’: some principles of ecclesiology – John Webster
- The Church “Taking Form” in Mission: Reimagining Family Ministries within the Missio Dei – Richard R. Osmer
The second book in the series includes an essay by James K A. Smith:
“Understanding Religion Takes Practice: Anti-Urban Bias, Geographical Habits, and Theological Influences: Mark T. Mulder and James K.A. Smith”
As the interviewer(s) said:
“…I really liked his [Ward’s] emphasis on new more fluid forms of church and mission, while not dismissing older and more solid forms. In fact he spoke very positively about institutional church and how the resources they have are important for the bringing to birth of the new.
Having said that, he took the idea of liquid church and mission further than I felt comfortable with…”