Homiletical Theory and Praxis

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 18115

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Yale Divinity School, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
Interests: emancipatory preaching; ecotheology; feminist hermeneutics; the Psalms; the Latter Prophets; christology; the Synoptic Gospels

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Homiletics as an academic discipline has undergone notable shifts in its theoretical formations and methodological frameworks, not least regarding the agency of preachers and listeners, the purposes of pulpit speeches as persuasive discourse, and analysis of social and cultural possibilities for preaching as artistic performance beyond the pulpit. Earlier scholarship had focused on such issues as: the utility of categories of classical Hellenistic rhetoric for theorizing preaching; preaching as catechesis of the congregation in theological doctrines; the authority of the preacher; prophetic preaching as a means of fostering social and political liberation; and techniques for effective delivery in the pulpit. In recent years, homileticians have brought more conceptual complexity to their work in those arenas and have made forays into new terrain: theorizing narrative homiletics and the poetics of preaching praxis; performing ethnographic analysis of congregations and other listening communities; framing historical studies of homiletics in relation to ecclesiology and political theology; interrogating androcentrism, anthropocentrism, Eurocentrism, gender and racial bias, and other distortions in homiletics and the theological disciplines; and engaging research in pastoral theology and trauma studies.

This Special Issue will explore a diverse array of topics in homiletical theory and praxis. Scholars are encouraged to submit proposals in the following areas: homiletical theory; Jewish or Christian homiletical practices from antiquity to modern times; christology, pneumatology, or another dimension of theology framed via preaching in a particular historical era; reception history of a biblical passage or figure analyzed through medieval, early modern, or contemporary sermon studies; homiletics in light of aesthetics, performance studies, or trauma studies; feminist, postcolonial, or womanist homiletics; eco-preaching and the global climate crisis; and interdisciplinary studies positioned at the nexus of homiletics and cultural studies, social ethics, liturgics, or political theory.

Prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors should submit a proposed title and an abstract of 200 words summarizing their intended contribution via email to the guest editor, Dr. Carolyn J. Sharp (carolyn.sharp@yale.edu) by 15 April 2023. Abstracts will be reviewed by Dr. Sharp for the purpose of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review.

Prof. Dr. Carolyn J. Sharp
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • homiletics
  • homiletical theory
  • preaching
  • aesthetics
  • eco-preaching
  • feminist homiletics
  • performance studies
  • practical theology
  • process theology
  • proclamation
  • postcolonial preaching
  • prophetic preaching
  • pulpit
  • rhetoric
  • trauma studies
  • wisdom
  • womanist homiletics

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 227 KiB  
Article
The Preacher as Artist: An Exploration of Sermon Creation as Art-Making
by Ruthanna B. Hooke
Religions 2024, 15(5), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15050604 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Preaching is one of the most creative things a pastor does. This essay explores how a theology of creativity, the imagination, and the arts can encourage preachers to embrace proclamation as creative work. The invitation to preachers to engage their creativity and imagination [...] Read more.
Preaching is one of the most creative things a pastor does. This essay explores how a theology of creativity, the imagination, and the arts can encourage preachers to embrace proclamation as creative work. The invitation to preachers to engage their creativity and imagination in preaching rests on the theological claim that creativity is intrinsic to human beings as made in the image of God the Creator. To create is to realize a core human vocation and to deepen knowledge of God. The imagination is a primary avenue to such knowledge, since the imagination is a faculty that allows for a holistic grasp of realities both seen and unseen. An artistic approach to preaching is appropriate in that art functions in similar ways to preaching: like preaching, art explores the depths of human existence, creates wholes out of fragments, and makes connections between seemingly disparate phenomena. The dispositions of the artist are vital for preachers, especially the courage and risk-taking required in art-making as a venture into the unknown. These functions of art and qualities of the artist lead to reflections concerning the particular challenges involved in being a Christian artist, and to the role of beauty in the knowledge of God and hence in preaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
11 pages, 174 KiB  
Article
Resurrection Preaching in the Gospel of John
by Karoline Lewis
Religions 2024, 15(4), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040514 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 554
Abstract
The Gospel of John, without having its own liturgical year, is typically assumed to have a supplemental homiletical role in the Revised Common Lectionary, and yet the Fourth Gospel is the designated Gospel reading for the festival Sundays of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and [...] Read more.
The Gospel of John, without having its own liturgical year, is typically assumed to have a supplemental homiletical role in the Revised Common Lectionary, and yet the Fourth Gospel is the designated Gospel reading for the festival Sundays of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and Easter season. As a result, the theological themes of the Fourth Gospel anchor the church’s Trinitarian confessions and doctrinal imagination when it comes to preaching. In particular, as the assigned Gospel for the Sundays of Easter, the Gospel of John shapes resurrection proclamation. Resurrection proclamation, therefore, is animated by Jesus’ final words to his disciples found in the Farewell Discourse (John 14–17), where Jesus interprets his own ministry, commissions his disciples, testifies to the Paraclete, and prays for his followers. This essay will explore how the viewpoint of Jesus’ departing declarations makes a difference for preaching the resurrection. Through the lens of the Farewell Discourse, the promise of the resurrection takes on thematic issues that give important meaning to Jesus’ own revelation, “I am the resurrection and the life”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
11 pages, 178 KiB  
Article
Preaching the Impossible in the Face of the Unthinkable: Nonviolence, Love, and Thanksgiving in a Coptic Easter Sermon
by J. Sergius Halvorsen
Religions 2024, 15(4), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040455 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 513
Abstract
This essay examines the Holy Monday sermon by Boules George, a senior priest at St. Mark Church in Cairo, that was preached the day after the Palm Sunday suicide bomb attacks against St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Tanta and St. Mark Coptic [...] Read more.
This essay examines the Holy Monday sermon by Boules George, a senior priest at St. Mark Church in Cairo, that was preached the day after the Palm Sunday suicide bomb attacks against St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Tanta and St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria in Egypt in 2017, which left forty-four people dead and more than one hundred injured. The sermon addressed Coptic Orthodox Christians in Cairo as well as the wider Coptic Orthodox community in Egypt and throughout the world through a live video broadcast. The sermon is remarkable for presenting a radical call to nonviolence and Christian love. Notably, the preacher speaks to “those who are killing us”, and says “thank you” for the opportunity to die as Christ died, for “this is the greatest honor that we could have”. This essay analyzes the sermon in light of the work of Walter Brueggemann and Alexander Schmemann, and argues that the sermon is an example of daring speech that offers divine empowerment to the suffering and the fearful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
11 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
The Soul in Preaching
by Theo Pleizier
Religions 2024, 15(4), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040446 - 1 Apr 2024
Viewed by 754
Abstract
What happened to the human soul in contemporary theories of preaching? The field of homiletics shows a wide variety of themes, approaches, perspectives, and theologies. Somewhere between the social critique, in postcolonial and post-human approaches, and sense-making, in cultural and experiential approaches, the [...] Read more.
What happened to the human soul in contemporary theories of preaching? The field of homiletics shows a wide variety of themes, approaches, perspectives, and theologies. Somewhere between the social critique, in postcolonial and post-human approaches, and sense-making, in cultural and experiential approaches, the issue of humanity re-emerges. This essay inquires whether and how it might be possible to re-envision preaching as a practice of care for the soul. The essay closes with a homiletical agenda in the form of three conditions for retrieving the soul in homiletics, a hermeneutical, a rhetorical, and a theological condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
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13 pages, 574 KiB  
Article
“Christ Is Speaking”: The Psalms as the Grammar of Augustine’s Sermons
by Matthew D. Love
Religions 2024, 15(4), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040414 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1446
Abstract
The Psalms saturated Augustine’s sermons. He believed they were God’s words to the church as inspired Scripture, and the church’s words to God as prayer and praise. In the Psalms, he saw kenosis, the downward-directed God in Christ who emptied himself to [...] Read more.
The Psalms saturated Augustine’s sermons. He believed they were God’s words to the church as inspired Scripture, and the church’s words to God as prayer and praise. In the Psalms, he saw kenosis, the downward-directed God in Christ who emptied himself to take on human nature to stand in solidarity with the church and creation. He saw, too, the possibility of deification, the upward-directed church in Christ raised to share in the divine nature. Furthermore, Augustine believed that Christ himself spoke in the Psalms so that in them the church could hear his voice and come to know its own voice. In this essay, I examine why Augustine cherished the Psalms, and I consider how this might inspire contemporary preachers to cherish them and preach them. Moreover, I offer Augustine’s Christocentric preaching of the Psalms as a paradigm for how preachers might facilitate Christological formation among their congregants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
14 pages, 237 KiB  
Article
Preaching Wholeness: Attending to Mental Health in Preaching Ministries
by Debra J. Mumford
Religions 2024, 15(4), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040393 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 691
Abstract
“Wilt thou be made whole?” This is a question posed by Jesus in the Gospels. Wholeness for Jesus means being in right relationship with God and in right relationship with other human beings. Wholeness can also be defined as completeness or well-being. This [...] Read more.
“Wilt thou be made whole?” This is a question posed by Jesus in the Gospels. Wholeness for Jesus means being in right relationship with God and in right relationship with other human beings. Wholeness can also be defined as completeness or well-being. This essay argues that preaching ministries committed to addressing the total well-being of all of God’s people must include sermons about mental health. As evidence of the need, the author cites statistics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that at least one in four people in the United States is affected by mental illness directly or indirectly during their lifetime. Then, to equip preachers to address mental health concerns, the author: addresses the causes of mental health stigma both in and beyond the pulpit; shares theological and hermeneutical approaches and concerns of disability proposed by the theologians Nancy Eiesland and John Swinton and homiletician Kathy Black; and provides resources for preachers to use in their preaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
10 pages, 187 KiB  
Article
Proclamation and Power: Toward a Phenomenology of Preaching and Its Affects
by Amy McLaughlin-Sheasby
Religions 2024, 15(4), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040392 - 24 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1533
Abstract
Preachers have long perceived that the power of proclamation can only partially be traced to sermonic language. Something is always stirring beneath the surface of our words—a sublinguistic property of preaching tugs at the attention and responses of our hearers. Many homileticians affirm [...] Read more.
Preachers have long perceived that the power of proclamation can only partially be traced to sermonic language. Something is always stirring beneath the surface of our words—a sublinguistic property of preaching tugs at the attention and responses of our hearers. Many homileticians affirm that preaching is empowered by the Spirit. God gives preaching its efficacy, sometimes despite our language. We frequently describe effective preaching as anointed, evoking the distinctly divine quality of preaching. But preaching—like scripture, the sacraments, and the incarnation—is a mysterious union of the divine and the human, the Creator and the created. This essay focuses on a creaturely aspect of preaching, namely, the way it awakens, conjures, transmits, and configures emotion. The divine cannot be parsed from the experiencing body; however, affect theory offers insight into creaturely emotional interplay that elucidates what happens in preaching and how. This essay follows the lead of affect theorists who contend that activities such as preaching are always inherently affective, and that affects contribute to the structuring of social power. Attention to the emotional experiences of bodies in preaching offers a mode by which a phenomenology of social power in preaching may emerge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
12 pages, 247 KiB  
Article
Forming Preachers: An Examination of Four Homiletical Pedagogy Paradigms
by E. Trey Clark
Religions 2024, 15(3), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030364 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 789
Abstract
Teaching preaching effectively in the twenty-first century requires instructors to engage a multiplicity of pedagogical approaches. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of homiletical literature that surveys diverse pedagogical paradigms and practices directly related to preaching. This article takes a step toward filling this [...] Read more.
Teaching preaching effectively in the twenty-first century requires instructors to engage a multiplicity of pedagogical approaches. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of homiletical literature that surveys diverse pedagogical paradigms and practices directly related to preaching. This article takes a step toward filling this void. Specifically, the author argues that embracing varied preaching pedagogical paradigms and practices is essential to foster a more holistic, contextually sensitive, and liberative approach to the formation of preachers. The first part of the article examines three major contemporary homiletical pedagogical approaches that attend to the formation of preachers in interrelated yet distinct ways: teacher-centered, learner-centered, and learning-centered preaching pedagogy. In the second section, building on place-based educational theory, a new paradigm is explored that the author calls place-centered preaching pedagogy. To explicate this paradigm, the article briefly considers four homileticians who, in different ways, reflect aspects of this pedagogy in their teaching: HyeRan Kim-Cragg, Frank A. Thomas, Richard W. Voelz, and Leah D. Schade. The third section offers an assessment of place-centered preaching pedagogy by examining its strengths, weaknesses, and areas for future research. The article ends with a conclusion that revisits the primary aims of the essay and calls for further exploration of the subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
14 pages, 239 KiB  
Article
Earth-Bound Preaching: Engaging Scripture, Context, and Indigenous Wisdom
by HyeRan Kim-Cragg
Religions 2024, 15(3), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030357 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 812
Abstract
In developing an Earth-bound homiletics, three homiletical movements are suggested: engaging Scripture, engaging global and local situatedness, and engaging the Indigenous worldview of “all my relations” by tapping into Indigenous knowledge. These three movements need not take place in any chronological order, nor [...] Read more.
In developing an Earth-bound homiletics, three homiletical movements are suggested: engaging Scripture, engaging global and local situatedness, and engaging the Indigenous worldview of “all my relations” by tapping into Indigenous knowledge. These three movements need not take place in any chronological order, nor should they be seen as a hierarchy. Rather, they are complementary and interconnected. The author, before articulating these movements, offers reasons for why the topic of the climate crisis is not preached on and then addresses the challenge of selecting biblical texts, delineating the strengths and weaknesses of using the lectionary readings versus a preacher’s individual choices. The article further addresses the danger of biblical literalists who deny global warming. Each homiletical movement will be elaborated using actual sermons as concrete examples of Earth-bound homiletics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
13 pages, 250 KiB  
Article
Óscar Romero, Ecclesiology, and the Church: Nourished by the Preached Word
by Benjamin A. Roberts
Religions 2024, 15(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030322 - 6 Mar 2024
Viewed by 2007
Abstract
Preaching provides a nourishment that both satisfies and creates hunger. The church is a place of preaching, as well as a subject, an object, and a recipient of preaching. In the multidimensional ecclesial–homiletical relationship, proclamation affirms and enhances ecclesial identity, ponders and interprets [...] Read more.
Preaching provides a nourishment that both satisfies and creates hunger. The church is a place of preaching, as well as a subject, an object, and a recipient of preaching. In the multidimensional ecclesial–homiletical relationship, proclamation affirms and enhances ecclesial identity, ponders and interprets the received word of the sacred scriptures, offers challenge and consolation, inspires missionary and cultural extension, celebrates holiness, and proclaims temporal and eschatological hope. These six characteristics offer a lens for homiletical exploration and evaluation. The sermons of Óscar Romero, the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador, provided critical nourishment for the people of his country and beyond. This article provides a brief overview of the biographical, pastoral, and theological details of Romero’s life. It then places the six characteristics of the ecclesial–homiletical relationship as a pulpit canopy over a selection of his sermons, revealing the abundant homiletical feast for the church. The preaching ministry of this shepherd nourished his flock through effective and creative engagement with scriptural, magisterial, theological, political, and cultural sources. Óscar Romero shines as an exemplar of homiletical proclamation for ecclesial nourishment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
18 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
“Christ for You and Me”: A Lutheran Theology of Proclamation and the Presence of the Preacher
by Samantha Gilmore
Religions 2024, 15(3), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030272 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 749
Abstract
This article asserts that the particularly personal nature of Lutheran preaching compels preachers to be personally present with the words they proclaim and the people in front of them as they give them the gift of the gospel. Lutheran preaching prioritizes and drives [...] Read more.
This article asserts that the particularly personal nature of Lutheran preaching compels preachers to be personally present with the words they proclaim and the people in front of them as they give them the gift of the gospel. Lutheran preaching prioritizes and drives toward the explicit proclamation of Christ crucified that declares Christ’s promises to be true “for you.” This is personal. The gospel is proclaimed not in general for all, but for each. The preacher gives the gospel to the people in front of them, just as the bread and cup are given to the people in Holy Communion. Such an intimate task invites an intimate presence. After unpacking the term “personally present,” this essay outlines three interrelated elements of Lutheran preaching that reveal the importance of the presence of the preacher, and a few words are offered to suggest ways in which these learnings may be of interest to those of other traditions. Finally, four exercises are provided to help homileticians foster this presence in their students and to assist preachers in fostering this presence during their preaching preparation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
14 pages, 197 KiB  
Article
The Power of Preaching and Deliberative Dialogue to Catalyze Congregational Social Action: A Case Study from “The Purple Zone”
by Leah D. Schade
Religions 2024, 15(2), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020243 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1304
Abstract
This article explores different ways that preachers and congregations have used the sermon-dialogue-sermon process to address social issues in their churches and engage their local community. I begin with a brief review of the homiletic theory behind the emergence of dialogical preaching, including [...] Read more.
This article explores different ways that preachers and congregations have used the sermon-dialogue-sermon process to address social issues in their churches and engage their local community. I begin with a brief review of the homiletic theory behind the emergence of dialogical preaching, including the ways I have integrated this theory into my own method of the sermon-dialogue-sermon (SDS) process. I then explain the work I have performed training preachers and congregations in the SDS method. This article then focuses on the Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moon, a pastor in Kentucky who undertook the SDS process with her congregation, North Middletown Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in Middletown, Kentucky. Their work allows for a longitudinal case study of the ways in which the SDS process can assist a congregation in engaging and strengthening democratic practices through deliberation and community outreach. The article concludes with a reflection on the implications of this process for a congregation’s engagement with social issues as well as recommendations for further research and analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
12 pages, 554 KiB  
Article
Wise Preaching: Furthering the Wisdom Homiletics Conversation in Both Model and Method
by Rob O’Lynn
Religions 2024, 15(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020240 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 847
Abstract
This essay will contribute to the emerging conversation related to “wisdom homiletics”, both in method and in content. “Wisdom homiletics”, as a homiletic–theological model that embodies the role of the Hebrew sage, resembles the wise teacher who seeks a more practical approach to [...] Read more.
This essay will contribute to the emerging conversation related to “wisdom homiletics”, both in method and in content. “Wisdom homiletics”, as a homiletic–theological model that embodies the role of the Hebrew sage, resembles the wise teacher who seeks a more practical approach to biblical discipleship. This essay will begin with a discussion of the emerging conversation related to “wisdom homiletics” in order to establish the tone for the remainder of the essay. Next, a rhetorical and ethical introduction to the Hebrew wisdom literature will be offered. This will establish the role of “sage” as a significant member of the Israelite and Jewish political and religious system, following the scholarship of Joseph Blenkinsopp, Roland Murphy, and Mark Sneed. Then, the essay will offer an assessment of Robert Stephen Reid’s, Lisa Washington Lamb’s, and Alyce McKenzie’s different homiletical concepts of the “sage” to transition to laying a foundation for “wisdom homiletics” as both a model of and method for preaching. The essay will conclude with a sermon précis drawn from a core Wisdom literature passage (Eccl 12:1–8) and presented in the method articulated in this essay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
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12 pages, 225 KiB  
Article
Preaching as Protest against the Apophatic Silencing of God’s People
by Will Willimon
Religions 2024, 15(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020233 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 709
Abstract
Throughout church history, there have been those who stressed the limits of our ability to speak with confidence about God and extolled the nobility of silence in the face of God’s ineffability. Dionysius the Areopagite famously asserted, “With regard to the divine, negations [...] Read more.
Throughout church history, there have been those who stressed the limits of our ability to speak with confidence about God and extolled the nobility of silence in the face of God’s ineffability. Dionysius the Areopagite famously asserted, “With regard to the divine, negations are true, whereas affirmations are inadequate”. Apophatic silence is presented as respectful of the mysterious otherness of God. Christian preaching is a practice that refutes all attempts at negative, apophatic theology. Every sermon participates in the wonder of the uniquely Jewish and Christian claim that God not only speaks but also invites, even commands, humanity to speak about God as well. Christian preaching is suspicious of any attempt to sentimentalize silence in the name of humble acknowledgement of human limitations to speak truthfully about God. Preaching therefore requires the courage to speak up and speak out with the God who, in Jesus Christ, has spoken to us. The silencing of the voices of women, persons of color, and others who claim to know that God is with them is an aspect of neocolonial oppression that preaching cannot abide. Preaching is a protest against all those who would tell the voiceless that some things are better left unsaid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
10 pages, 197 KiB  
Article
Confronting Confederate Monuments: Place-Based Pedagogy for Anti-Racist Preaching
by David M. Stark
Religions 2024, 15(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020224 - 16 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1012
Abstract
“Space wins” is a long-held homiletical maxim. Usually, this means that architecture and pulpit style influence how sermons are delivered and heard. What is less frequently considered is how monuments and memorials affect proclamation in space. Among other things, Confederate monuments make claims [...] Read more.
“Space wins” is a long-held homiletical maxim. Usually, this means that architecture and pulpit style influence how sermons are delivered and heard. What is less frequently considered is how monuments and memorials affect proclamation in space. Among other things, Confederate monuments make claims on space, communicate idealized aesthetics, and preach about hopes for a particular eschatological community. This essay examines pedagogical approaches to preaching that confronts Confederate monuments. It is based upon courses I offered in 2022 at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and through the Association of Chicago Theological Schools D.Min. program in Chicago, Illinois. After articulating a pedagogy drawn from the work of Leonora Tubbs Tisdale and Willie James Jennings, I examine three approaches to place-based pedagogy that serve anti-racist preaching by (1) analyzing monuments within the teaching location, (2) fostering reflective participation in pilgrimage to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and (3) inviting students to research monuments in their home community and confront them through preaching. These approaches can foster preaching that is better attuned to addressing localized histories, better able to identify and confront specific aspects of white supremacy that are concretized in a community, and more adept at offering a gospel proclamation that is finely tuned to the transformative needs of a particular place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
15 pages, 205 KiB  
Article
Preaching beyond Binary Categories: An Approach from Process Theology
by Ronald J. Allen
Religions 2024, 15(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020221 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1087
Abstract
Thinking in binary categories has often characterized both the Christian community and communities beyond the church. This pattern of mental operation typically sees binary categories as self-contained and often as mutually exclusive, e.g., male/female, judgment/salvation, and religious/secular. However, some interpreters call binary thinking [...] Read more.
Thinking in binary categories has often characterized both the Christian community and communities beyond the church. This pattern of mental operation typically sees binary categories as self-contained and often as mutually exclusive, e.g., male/female, judgment/salvation, and religious/secular. However, some interpreters call binary thinking into question and point to possibilities of more nuanced perspectives, perhaps most well-known with respect to more expansive views of gender: the categories of male and female are not mutually exclusive but are reference points among clusters of sexual and gender expression and preferences. Process theology offers preachers ways to transcend binary exclusivism. Several convictions of process thought come into play: the divine aim that all things work together for optimum becoming, the dipolar nature of God, the internal relationship of all things, and especially the perception that a binary is an invitation for creative transformation in thinking beyond the binary pattern about how the elements in the field of the binary might relate with one another so as to honor diversity as part of moving towards optimum becoming. The article begins with a statement of the problem, summarizes key elements of process thought that come into play, sketches how a preacher might seek the creative transformation of binary impasses, and brings forward three case studies of binaries that illustrate this approach in action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
16 pages, 295 KiB  
Article
A Différant Kind of Preaching: Derrida and the Deconstruction of Contemporary Homiletics
by Jacob D. Myers
Religions 2024, 15(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020180 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Homiletics manifests as a technē that commends certain kinds of preaching over others. As such, homiletics structures debate unaware of the philosophical assumptions operative within it. This paper challenges the logocentrism of contemporary homiletical theories in light of Jacques Derrida’s deconstructive analytic. I [...] Read more.
Homiletics manifests as a technē that commends certain kinds of preaching over others. As such, homiletics structures debate unaware of the philosophical assumptions operative within it. This paper challenges the logocentrism of contemporary homiletical theories in light of Jacques Derrida’s deconstructive analytic. I take as my privileged conversation partner Fred Craddock, the much-lauded king of the New Homiletic. I argue that in commending inductive over deductive logic, Craddock merely inverts the logical movement of preaching, thereby reinscribing logocentrism. Utilizing Derrida’s neologism différance, I press homiletics toward what I am labeling conductive preaching, which reframes homiletical theory beyond the epistemological biases that condition it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homiletical Theory and Praxis)
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