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The Possibility of Citizen Theology: Public Theology after Christendom and the Enlightenment

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AbstractIn this article the authors outline and critique two models of public theology in order to advance a new, more helpful, approach. The context is British but the intention is to draw lessons for public theology in the global west. The state of British public theology is briefly surveyed and found to be in some disarray. The most common models—characterized as ‘disciple theology’ and ‘liberal activist theology’—are critically analysed and found in significant ways to be inadequate for purpose. The model of ‘citizen theology’ as an approach to doing public theology is advanced, developed and discussed as an alternate. The central features of citizen theology are put forward for analysis. These include the importance of developing the virtues, creating poetic and parabolic discourse, and creating imaginative theological categories and theories.

Affiliations: 1: Archbishops’ Council, Church of England, URL:; 2: University of Birmingham UK, URL:; 3: University of Chichester UK, URL:


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