This work explores the origins and development of the clergy using a variety of sources and insights from thinkers such as Darwin and Foucault. Martyn Percy, journalist, author, Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon and Anglican Priest takes a serious but often humorous look at how the role of clergy has evolved over the years. This is a lively and engaging study including anecdotes and familiar cultural references such as the influence of the Vicar of Dibley on public perceptions of the clergy and a discussion of clerical dress. Keen to dispel romantic notions of the clergy Percy's study is informed by personal experience and the practical realities of being a parish priest. To encourage his readers to a new way of thinking about theologies of ministry in relation to their context and environment he examines three arenas: changing nature of clerical identity; role of the culture as an agent of change; and the function of churches, denominations and congregations as resistors and accomodators of cultural change. Percy's conclusion is that to survive the clergy need to adapt to their cultural environment whilst at the same time retaining a certain distance.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 354 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 17 mm
'Utilising the metaphorical rubric of evolution Martyn Percy reframes the theology of ministry by looking at the adaption of ecclesiology and clerical practice to and through cultural change. What this compelling thesis achieves is to provide a practical theology of ministry grounded in social reality rather than a fixed and unchanging theology plucked from the skies.'
Professor Andrew Walker, King's College, London--Sanford Lakoff
I welcome a book that takes the context of ministry seriously. Martyn Percy is particularly well-placed to do this - combining the insights of sociology and theology in order to think in new ways about the ministerial task. This book is for scholars and practitioners alike.--Sanford Lakoff
"a delightful, provocative, interesting and a very informative book." "Martyn Percy offers not just history and theology, but also carefully considered and wide understanding."
"a book well worth reading, enjoying and pondering over."--Sanford Lakoff