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Meanings of Discipleship

Being Disciples Then and Now

Meanings of Discipleship

Being Disciples Then and Now

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334060260
Number of Pages: 320
Published: 29/10/2021
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm

Discipleship is a foundational concept of Christian life which has become a popular and ubiquitous description of belonging and growth in early 21st ecclesiastical language. Discipleship courses and popular writings abound and the term is used liberally in official church documents and strategies for growth and development, particular in a western context. But does recent use of the word risk reducing the wide range of meanings of discipleship to something less rich and inclusive than is warranted?

With contributions from an array of leading thinkers, scholars and theologians, including Rachel Mann, Kirsteen Kim and Anthony Reddie, this book argues that there is need for more clarity, precision and depth in defining what meaningfully and constructively is construed as discipleship.

Beginning with an overview of how the concept of discipleship has been understood in history, the volume goes on to consider some of the key figures who have shaped our understanding of the concept, and finally to reflect on what discipleship might look like in contemporary society.

Contributors vii

1 Introduction 1

Stephen Cherry and Andrew Hayes

Part 1 A Very Short History of Discipleship 

Early Foundations of Christian Discipleship 

2 The Gospels and Acts: Discipleship and the Kingdom 7

Loveday Alexander

3 Early Church Discipleship: Adherence, Argument and Community 22

Andrew Hayes

4 Pilgrim People: Medieval Discipleship 36

Sarah Brush

Architects of Discipleship 

5 Following in Community: Saint Benedict’s Flexible Vision for Faithful Discipleship 53

Sister Johanna Marie Melnyk, OSB

6 Called to a Life of Piety and Holiness: John Calvin on Discipleship 68

Randall C. Zachman

7 Grace Bearing Fruit: John Wesley’s Conception of Discipleship 81

Sondra Wheeler

8 Courageous, Prophetic and Liberating: The Discipleship of Pandita Ramabai and the Mukti Mission 93

Betty Govinden

9 Visible and Hidden Discipleship: The Witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer 108

Jennifer Moberly

Part 2 Imperatives for Discipleship Today

Following Christ’s Commandments 

10 Missionary Discipleship: Being Called and Being Sent 123

Kirsteen Kim

11 Eucharistic Discipleship: Participating in the Body 136

Matthew Bullimore

12 Relational Discipleship: Putting Kindness First 150

Stephen Cherry

Priorities for Contemporary Disciples

13 The Secularization of Desire: Is Discipleship a Remedy? 167

Herman Paul

14 Interfaith and Discipleship: Faithfulness, Discernment and the Common Good 180

Richard J. Sudworth

15 The Quest for Catholicity: An Anti-Racist Model of Discipleship 194

Anthony G. Reddie

16 Discipleship as Gardening: Reflections on Ecological Conversion 208

Sam E. Ewell III

17 The Power of the Personal: The Promise and Challenge of Transgender Identities for Christian Discipleship 219

Rachel Mann

Conclusion

18 The Authenticity of Discipleship 231

Stephen Cherry and Andrew Hayes

Index of Names and Subjects 241

Andrew Hayes, Stephen Cherry

Andrew Hayes is Director of the Centre of Discipleship and Theology, and the author of Defining Christianity: Justin against Marcion. The Revd Dr Stephen Cherry is the Dean of King's College Cambridge and an active writer and speaker on Christian spirituality and practical theology. He was previously a Residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral and Director of Ministerial Development and Parish Support for the diocese of Durham.

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