Saturday, March 03, 2012

why church?

Was great to listen to John Swinton, Professor of Practical Theology from Aberdeen University, speak at the Uniting Church of South Australia Synod today. Back in 2003, I wrote a journal article on his research method, along with John Drane’s: “Doing practical research downunder: a methodological reflection on recent trends in Aberdonian practical theology,” Contact 142, 1 (2003): 2-21. (I never realised it actually got published until 2007, when I met a Anglican ordinand from the UK, who helped me track down an actual copy.)

Then in September last year, I connected with John again, at the Ecclesiology and Ethnography conference in Durham.

Today John spoke on health, healing and community and it was wonderful. Here’s one (of many memorable) quote:

The task of the church is not world transformation but signalling kingdom through small gestures. John Swinton

As in this, colour and creativity in concrete places?

Posted by steve at 10:03 PM


  1. i wish he’d been doing something on research methods while here…

    Comment by craig — March 3, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  2. I don’t think I’ve yet quite articulated what I want to say, but I’ll start ….

    What was interesting for me Craig was how practically John connected, despite not being a “practioner.” And I think it was the research, how his practical theology takes him to and among people, and how his research grows out of real concerns – eg as he talked about studying breast cancer and spirituality. So there’s a challenge there I think for us at Uniting College as to the shape of our research,


    Comment by steve — March 4, 2012 @ 11:02 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.