Wildgoose Festival 2011

Auf dem Wildgoose Festival 2011 trafen sich viele einflussreiche Vordenker der emergenten Bewegung, unter ihnen Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, Tony Jones, Phyllis Tickle oder Doug Pagitt.

Brandon Morgan, der selbst zu den Sympathisanten der Emerging Church gehört, hat das Festival besucht und im Blog von Roger Olsen seine Eindrücke publiziert.

Upon returning from the Wild Goose festival, I felt that the festival was, among others things, a blatant attempt to show how well Emergent folks and mainline folks get along (particularly regarding the LGBTQ community) and how they generally have the same enemies (conservative evangelicals). (Typologies are not necessarily helpful, but they will have to do here). If Emergent folks initially sought to bring together the evangelical emphases of conversion, scripture and discipleship with the progressive emphases of social justice, inclusion, and theologically progressive approaches to Christian doctrine (which, we must admit, often amounts to a covert denial of many traditional forms of those doctrines), then the question is: have Emergent folks succeeded in transcending the evangelical-progressive division in American Protestantism. Have they formulated a holistic theological approach able to include the benefits of both sides and jettison the negative aspects? Some may question whether this is actually the goal of Emergent folks. If this is not their goal, at least peripherally, then my personal understanding of being involved with the Emergent conversation is perhaps questionable. But more importantly, if this is not at least a tertiary goal, then my question is: why haven’t Emergent folks joined the mainline denominations? Why have the negatives of evangelicalism been so easy to describe and virulently rebuke, while the negatives of the mainline denominations have barely shown up in Emergent concerns? Another way to ask this question would be: Why hasn’t the Emergent critique of evangelicalism’s involvement with the American nation-state and it’s tendency toward creating theologically exclusive boundaries not found root in a critique of Mainline denominations, whose political interests also conflate the church with nation-state interests? Yet another way to ask this question might be: Why do post-liberals (e.g. The Ekklesia Project) look so different from liberals yet nothing like evangelicals, while post-evangelical Emergents look alot like liberals?

It could be the failed attempt to reduce theological claims to social justice claims, which forces us to ask exactly what the doctrines of the church, the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Resurrection accomplish, other than pithy symbols used to advance left-wing forms of American democracy. The critique could be the loss of Christian uniqueness within American religious and political culture that suffers from a spiritually amalgamate ethos that can be summarized by a phrase made in Paul Knitter’s Wild Goose talk: »I love Buddha and Jesus, but I still go home to Jesus.«

Es lohnt sich, den gesamten Beitrag zu lesen: www.patheos.com.

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