post-Christendom formation?By Dwight J. Friesen | May 13th, 2010 | Category: Identity Formation | 8 comments
So I’m in the process of writing a short piece exploring Christian spiritual/identity formation in a post-Christendom context. I’m desperately looking for any recommended websites, readings or other resources that might help me get a better sense of the shift from Christendom to post-Christendom while also expanding my understanding of how formation might be different within those different contexts.
Within the Christendom context the church played the dominant role in shaping the social, political and institutional life of a people. So much so that political structures, education, and other institutions were seen almost like partners with the church in forming a Christendom vision. In the Western context which is increasingly post-Christendom, the church is more and more marginalized with respect to public life. The church no longer sets the agenda for government, education or commerce. So I find myself wonder, if the church’s responsibility to form people in continuity with the narrative of the God as seen in Jesus Christ and testified to throughout scripture changes in anyway when the many of the partners that the church used to be able to rely on for forming Christian identity no longer look to the church, and in fact appear to be more and more antagonistic to the church.
What might be some of the implications for Christian formation in light of this shift?
BTW – The image of the upside down church is a 1997 sculpture by artist Dennis Oppenheim. He titled it, “Device to Root out Evil.” I don’t know if its still there but I first saw the piece installed at Harbour Green Park in Vancouver, BC.