Monday, April 09, 2007

an American manifesto

Just browsing my way through my nice, new, shiny, hardbacked copy of An Emergent Manifesto of Hope.

It includes the following quote from Brian McLaren: “So I am hereby giving notice that I’m not interested in arguing with anyone about modernity and postmodernity, but I would very much like to engage in honest conversation about colonialism and postcolonialism.” (143).

Well said Brian. One of 25 chapters, written by 25 different authors. Oh. All American. Yahoo. 25 American voices starting an “honest conversation about colonialism and postcolonialism.”

Update: I have just realised the Easter irony. I write this on Easter Monday, the day after the Easter story was first encountered, and first told, by a Middle Eastern peasant woman. How truly post-colonial.

Posted by steve at 04:27 PM


  1. I had the same thought. Alas…

    Comment by Jamie Arpin-Ricci — April 9, 2007 @ 5:38 pm

  2. Jamie,
    aren’t you part of Emergent Village? Why weren’t you asked to write? Why wasn’t Sivin Kit, Jason Clark, Cheryl Lawrie, TSK, the list goes on. At least they called the book “Emergent manifesto” and not “emerging manifesto”.

    Although perhaps in truth it should have been “USEmergent Village manifesto.”


    Comment by steve — April 9, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

  3. 🙂 I thought it was nice to be named … Blessed Easter

    Comment by Sivin — April 9, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  4. Sivin,
    how do you feel about this Sivin? in what ways can you see a genuinely equal conversation emerging? how can the privileged – whether they be publishers, bloggers, phDer’s, males – whatever, in what ways can the privileged create space? can they? how can a “post-colonial manifesto of hopeful partnership” be written? should we be setting up a website? but then how do those without technologies participate?

    all this on Easter Monday, the day after the Easter story was first encountered and first told by a Middle Eastern peasant woman.


    Comment by steve — April 9, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

  5. excellent observation about both the American (that is USA – I am Canadian) focus & the reminder that the resurrection story is first told by a middle eastern peasant woman.

    in a time when middle eastern is often suspect in the USA, we need this reminder

    Comment by michael bells — April 10, 2007 @ 1:39 am

  6. Steve, I too received my copy of the book recently and made the same observation to some of my buddies here. Laughter, rolled eyes, shaking heads, and pursed lips ensued.

    Comment by Pernell — April 10, 2007 @ 11:37 am

  7. thanks Steve, for nudging me along. I think your questions need some serious consideration (and experimental action? *smile*)

    “A post-colonial manifesto of hopeful partnership” .. that would be a cool title. Get at least 2 from each continent to start the ball rolling?

    The insight on the Middle Eastern Peasant women REALLY got my attention. We need to interact more.

    Comment by Sivin — April 10, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

  8. Hey Steve, we have worked hard to keep the Emergent convervation from the US about the US – As you know the other expressions in other countries come under the name Amahoro.
    So when we in the US are speaking of the Emergent US we are not supposing to speak for the entire world, and ave worked hard to not do so. This book was a collective effort of the network in the US, that is why the authors are from the US.
    And as you know from the book, the entire thing is not about colonialism – that was Brian’s contribution and a good one. So, this is not a book about colonialism, but about hope from a certain network of people – from a former colony.

    Comment by Doug Pagitt — April 11, 2007 @ 4:49 am

  9. Good point Steve. I’m a brown latino, with african and taino/arawak heritage.
    As a non-north american, living in the USA, I consider the conversation to be mainly white and full of testosterone. Yes, there are women whose voices are begining to be heard, and you might see some color other than white in some gatherings, but the colonial and postcolonial feeling is real even inside the empire.

    Comment by Eliacin — April 12, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  10. Doug,

    Fair enough, but wouldn’t an aspect of colonialism be engaging these issues in the vacuum of one national perspective? Wouldn’t the US benefit from intentionally opening its doors and minds to the views of those outside its borders? Just a thought.


    Comment by Jamie Arpin-Ricci — April 13, 2007 @ 2:51 am

  11. thanks for dropping by doug. can you point me to the place in the book where you outlined this criteria – an american book for an american audience?

    especially given that the book is being released worldwide,


    Comment by steve — April 13, 2007 @ 7:52 am

  12. Eliacin, the book does include chapters from non-white voices – i don’t have the book with me as i am travelling, but i recall chapters by an afro-american (2), a latino, a native american indian.

    have you read those chapters and what did you think of their attempts to provide a diverse voice?


    Comment by steve — April 13, 2007 @ 7:54 am

  13. Steve,

    Yes the book have a little taste of diversity, including my latino friend Rudy Carrasco. Which shows that there is hope. But the dance to diversity is a slow and painful one that need to happen in order to challenge the overall colonialist mindset of the USA church, including the emerging church. I want to believe that the inclusion of non-white/non-male voices is a real intent for unity and not just mere “tokenism” which is common practice in USA in order to avoid the process of mutual invitation.

    Talking in USA about the emerging church in non-western countries is becoming popular, but still the those who are “reporting” are the voices of mostly white middle class highly educated men.

    With so many exciting changes happening in the the global south, not only in terms of christianity, but in the practice of democracy, the rights and the re-emerging voice of the indigenous people around the world, the USA church, including emerging churches is losing the bandwagon still with the arrogance to tell the world where the emergent hope is.

    Comment by Eliacin — April 13, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

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