Language about or addressed to God should be derived from human experience, not just from men’s experience, argues Prof. Adrian Thatcher, a trustee of Modern Church, in a new Forewords booklet launched at our 2016 annual conference.
In the 36-page booklet, Gender Inclusive Language and Worship, Professor Thatcher advocates the use of language which does not privilege men over women, in Christian theology, hymnody, liturgy and prayer.
Gender-inclusive language recognizes that God is beyond the distinctions of sex - it differs from ‘gender-neutral’ language which avoids the use of personal pronouns such as 'he' and 'him', or 'she' and 'her'. Gender-inclusive language is personal language drawn from the whole range of human experience, including and especially women.
In the first article in this series, I outlined the dire attendance scenario the Church of England is facing in the coming years. I made a pragmatic case for the liberal wing of the church to move from a general attitude of scepticism to one of constructive engagement with church growth, then offered suggestions as to some areas of strength which liberals might bring to bear to the work of growing churches.
In this second article I shall look at some recent research on church growth, what it may have to tell us about the ways in which liberal churches might approach the task of seeking growth, and reflect back as I do so on some of the liberal strengths identified in the first article.
2016 Annual Conference of Modern Church
Performing the Faith: Shakespeare in the World
Shakespeare, the Theatre and Theology Today
11th July to 13th July 2016
at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts.
2016 is the 400th anniversary of the death of England’s – some would say, the world’s – greatest playwright.
Read Jonathan Clatworthy's account of the conference here or click here to view the album of photos on Flickr.
Audio and text from speakers available soon.
You can get involved with Modern Church in three ways:
Modern Believing is the journal of Modern Church. It publishes articles in theology and related disciplines to promote theological liberalism.
Published quarterly by Liverpool University Press and indexed in the ATLA religion database.
Editor: Revd Dr Steven Shakespeare
Reviews Editor: Revd Dr Michael Brierley
Assistant Editor: Revd Anthony Freeman
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