Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Uk adventures 3 – Durham familiar
Monday I navigated my way from Manchester to Durham. I’m thousands of miles from home, yet there is some welcome familiarity – back in a place I was a year ago, back among networks: Pete Ward who examined my PhD, John Swinton who shaped my PhD methodology, Paul Fiddes whom I’ve met through Baptist worlds.
So there’s a welcome familiarity in knowing where to turn when leaving a train station, where to find coffee and wifi, catchup to be had.
I’m in Durham for the Ecclesiology and Ethnography network.
Yep, well, to quote Neil Ormerod in The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church, there is a “major divide in ecclesiology, between those who study … an idealist Platonic form in some noetic heaven, and those who study it more as a realist Aristotelian form, grounded in the empirical data of historical ecclesial communities.”
My interest, and the interest of the Ecclesiology and Ethnography network, is the latter. What actually happens in church? Research as ethnography, as talking to real people in real places?