Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Scholars worship too

It has been an extremely productive year for me in terms of writing. I have just completed my seventh piece of work which, considering my day job as a Principal, and when placed alongside regular monthly film reviews, makes for an extremely productive year.

At church on Sunday, the phrase “scholars” lept out at me. The Magi, scholars from the East, come to worship. There was a sense that scholarship was welcome around the Christmas child. Thanks Jesus.

What I submitted today was a journal article to M/C Journal, a fully blind peer-reviewed journal for media and culture. It is my first publication attempt in relation to my fresh expressions: ten years old research project.

Here is the title and abstract.

The complexity of authenticity in religious innovation: “alternative worship” and its appropriation as Fresh expressions

Philip Vanini’s theorising of authenticity as original and sincere helps parse the complexity of contemporary religious innovation. Ethnographic research into new expressions of church (“alternative worship”) showed that authenticity was a generative word, a discourse deployed in these communities to justify innovation. Sarah Thornton’s research into club cultures similarly demonstrated an entwining of marginal self-location with a privileging of authenticity. Such acts of self-location, so essential for innovation and identity, were complexified when appropriated by the mainstream (“Fresh expressions” of church). The generative energy therein became focused not around originality but in maintaining the sincerities of existing institutional life.

The seven pieces for 2014 are as follows (four have already been published, which leaves three moving at various rates of speed with editors, which is quite standard).

Two peer-reviewed journal articles
“The Congregation in a Pluralist Society: Rereading Newbigin for Missional Churches Today,” Pacifica: Australasian Theological Studies, 27(2), (2014), 1-24, (co-authored with D. Cronshaw).

“The complexity of authenticity in religious innovation: “alternative worship” and its appropriation as Fresh expressions.” (Under review, M/C Journal)

Three peer-reviewed book chapters
“Let “us” in the sound: the transformative elements in U2′s live concert experience,” U2: TRANS- , Going Across, Above, and Beyond with U2, edited by S Calhoun, Lexington Books. (Published).

“Embodiment and transformation in the context of e-learning,” Learning and Teaching Theology: Some Ways Ahead, edited by In Les Ball and J. Harrison, Morning Star, 2014, 171-184. (Published)

“Inhabiting Our Neighbourhoods: Plot by plot, plant by plant,” for “Inhabiting Our Neighbourhoods”: a flagship publication of Urban Seed’s new Urban Studies Centre. (Under review).

Two “Other public research outputs”
(In other words they might be important but not in the eyes of the University “peer review” machine.)

Colouring outside the lines (Mediacom).

“Carrying Cuth,” for Farewelling Our Fathers. (It is a “Men’s Studies” take on how men of my generation (40 and up) process the death of our dad’s. (under review).

Now to enter the Sabbath re-creation offered by the entry of the Christ-child into our world

Posted by steve at 02:17 PM

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