From Chaos to Mission
Refounding Religious Life Formation
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Formation is a rite of passage or initiation ritual. This book draws on the findings of social anthropological studies of initiation tiruals and contemporary biblical studies of rites of passage. Since initiation rituals are of critical importance in the life journeys of individuals and groups, the book's central theme is relevant to educationalists and ritual leaders in the Church and secular society. Most religious congregations founded since the thirteenth century were formed for prophetic ministry to a world in change, yet for centuries before Vatican II, their candidates were rarely trained explicitly for this task. Through years of quasi-indoctrination and voluntary incarceration they were taught, in a monastic atmosphere of unchanging order, that the world was evil and to be avoided. Conformity to a theological, ecclesiastical and pastoral status quo was the most esteemed value in a candidate. This emphasis was contrary to the very nature of active religious life. Religious must be prophetic challengers of the status quo within the Church and society.Training for membership in active religious congregations, therefore, must now be radically reformed, but there are no road maps available to direct educationalists in developing programmes that would stimulate candidates to be radically creative in ministry. From Chaos to Mission creates a framework for radical thinking and practical action about the critical ussue of formation of religious for mission today.