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Rethinking Church In Liquid Modernity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the concept of liquid church, which may be tentatively defined as de-institutionalized Christian religion that still bears some resemblance to the church as we know it, or the communication of Christ in a network. Zygmunt Bauman's concept of liquid modernity was a major source of inspiration for the concept of the 'liquid church'. Institutionalization, de-institutionalization, and re-institutionalization are inherent in the dynamics of the religious field. Empirically oriented theology can learn much more from the sociology of liquid modernity. Sociology challenges theologians not only to work empirically, but also to reflect on their theology. The search for new ecclesial concepts should be accompanied with fundamental-ecclesiological reflections. The concept of liquid church with all its ambivalences praised by Ward, criticized by Bauman opens up wide horizons for future empirical theological research.

Keywords: de-institutionalized Christian religion; ecclesial concepts; empirical theological research; liquid church; liquid modernity; Zygmunt Bauman's concept

10.1163/ej.9789004157927.i-322.49
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004157927.i-322.49
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