A Worldwide United Methodist Church? Soundings toward a Connectional Theological Imagination
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How to Cite

Pieterse, H. R. (2013). A Worldwide United Methodist Church? Soundings toward a Connectional Theological Imagination. Methodist Review, 5, 1-23. Retrieved from https://methodistreview.org/index.php/mr/article/view/87

Abstract

This article suggests that the ascendance of Christianity as a world faith might hold vital clues for United Methodism's ongoing effort to become a "worldwide" church. It suggests that precisely this effort could serve as the catalyst for the renewal United Methodists seek and need today. However, longstanding theological and ecclesial habits--chief among these a proclivity for "center-periphery" thinking, deeply embedded in Western Christendom--thwart such renewal. The essay illustrates the center-periphery dynamic in several recent denominational renewal initiatives, including legislation for the 2012 General Conference, and then draws on the work of United Methodist historian Russell Richey to argue for a "connectional theological imagination" as an important step in cultivating ecclesial habits fit for an authentic global United Methodist connectional covenant.

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