Justice

Collaborative inquiry, laity in a local church and the biblical imperative to do justice

Author
Paul M Lisl
Abstract
The "Doing Justice" project uses the transformative pedagogy of collaborative inquiry to deepen the understanding and practice of the biblical imperative to do justice of laity in a local church. The project involves a five week scriptural based collaborative inquiry group. Measurement tools include field notes, interviews and archival documents. The research shows that collaborative inquiry's values of just and fair participation, repeated cycles of action and reflection through discourse and storytelling, and meaning making leading to transformation contribute to a deeper understanding and practice of the biblical imperative to do justice of laity in a local church.

O healing river: just prayer and organizing

Author
Terry Allen Moe
Abstract
This project explores an emerging spirituality of justice, grounded in biblical and theological traditions, that is erupting in lives of persons involved in organizing and prayer as an explosion of vibrant, new thought and hopeful, effective practice. Based on interviews, institutional agendas, news reports, and readings in prayer and organizing, the project concludes that spirituality and justice, although often divided in the church and in the world, are, in true Christian discipleship, one healing river.

The family as the body of Christ: a systems approach to theology and education

Author
Rinda G Rogers
Abstract
This project proposes a theological understanding of family as the forgiven and forgiving Body of Christ, drawing on the conceptual framework of the contextual school of family therapy to recognize the family as a relationship system in which God brings individual persons into identity and belonging. This system, the Body of Christ, is simul justus et peccator, which can either help or hinder the family in achieving its mission. The family's children need relational justice expressed in trustworthy caring if they are to grow up to be advocates for others. The project offers an instructional program designed to help families in the daily activity of forgiveness as an act of justice-bearing relationship.

Prophetic concepts of justice for the prophetic ministry of Indonesian churches: a course for adult church educational programs

Author
Sardius Kuntjara
Abstract
Doing justice is not primarily to submit to a certain precept of justice, but to submit to God, the source, initiator, and the root of true justice. Every precept of justice should reflect and be responsible to the justice of God. Doing the precept of justice means doing justice in the context of obedience to the will of God. Comparative socio-biblical studies from the eighth century BC prophetic messages to the recent justice-injustice issues in Indonesia make evident that prophetic ministry must be maintained to set up justice. Concrete care to the victims of injustices and tactful strategy toward the unjust challenge church members in actualizing justice courageously.

Toward maturity and ministry: a theological and curricular framework for the nuture of local church leadership in peace and justice ministry

Author
Wesley J Mills
Abstract
The purpose of this dissertation is to delineate a theological and curricular framework for undertaking education for peace and justice ministry as a component of the American Baptist Churches of Maine Institute for Ministry. Its origin reflects a dual involvement in peace and justice work and adult education, and its scope has resulted in a model for education for peace and justice ministry. The process employed in delineating the model is akin to that of an action/reflection mode of learning. It is rooted in longstanding peace and justice action, and is expressive of diverse experience in adult education. Through a synthesis of research and reflection, action and analysis, the dissertation seeks to systematize theological and educational resources into a coherent model of education for peace and justice ministry. The model has emerged through a dialogical and creative process of discussion, experimentation, implementation, reflection and systemization.

Pastoral care for a church in mission

Author
Dennis R Nelson
Abstract
The essential purpose of pastoral care-giving reaches beyond comfort to challenge and commission the whole people of God to be full participants in the redemptive purpose of God made explicit in Jesus. Mission includes both evangelism and the pursuit of justice. Pastoral care utilizes the gifts of all the baptized to nurture today's church and to translate the church's theology into the connectedness of faith and life (piety) through which the church acts in mission. Examples of the mission-directed pastoral care agenda include letters of spiritual counsel, congregational goal setting, and sermons.

God and/or mammon: a congregational dialogue concerning the theological and ethical implications of Luke/Acts for affluent Christians

Author
Bruce W Hanstedt
Abstract
The thesis of this project is that the gospel has the potential to create a new community that will serve as a catalyst for hope and justice in our present global context of affluence and poverty. The project provides a model for congregations which tests the thesis. The study addresses: 1) the current divergence of wealth, with a special focus on the enculturation of American churches; 2) work and social stresses concomitant with wealth; and 3) the biblical message concerning wealth. Issues of affluence, ways to address these issues to the wealthy, and instances of the "new" community permeate this project.

A renewal of faith program based on the liturgies of the rite of Christian initiation of adults

Author
Angela Palermo
Abstract
This five week project provides an opportunity for the renewal of faith to Christian adults. It uses the liturgical rites of the Lenten phase of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The biblical and theological foundations of the project develop the understanding of faith in a holistic way which involves the whole person, mind, heart and will. They lead him or her to carry out works of justice. To conduct the project in a parish that does not have the RCIA requires more time devoted to explaining the RCIA and group leaders who stress the justice aspect of the project.

Undergraduate theological education for justice and peace

Author
Donna K Kustusch
Abstract
Undergraduate theological education must implement a praxis educational process consistent with the develoment of contemporary, social-political eschatology. Using ten years of educational practice as its research base the study examines the social-political and theological consciousness of undergraduates, compares that consciousness with the development of eschatology since Vatican II and develops a praxis education model for undergraduate theological education. The study conclusively outlines five educational commitments for theological education: 1) a preferential option for the poor; 2) a focus on justice and peace; 3) North-South dialogue; 4) inclusive community; and 5) a developmental philosophy of person.

Keeping alive the passion for peace: peace and justice as program priorities in the Christian Church (Disciples)

Author
Donald H McCord
Abstract
The author examines a specific program in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Shalom Congregation Program, as a response to the stated denominational program priority of peace with justice. The thesis traces the roots of these concerns and their developments in the denomination. The author contends that leaders in Shalom Congregations will be more tolerant of ambiguity, less dogmatic, less rigid, and more cosmopolitan in their orientation than others in the church. He used personal visits, interviews and questionnaires with five of the original Shalom Congregations in the program. Theological support and resources for peace ministries are examined.
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