Church and Pomo — now hosted at The Other Journal — today started a two-week conversation about my book, The Church Is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement. Today, Jason Clark reviews the book, and my response will post on Thursday. Likewise next week.
As someone very involved within the E/C over the past 12 years, I recognized myself and many of my friends within Tony’s accounts. The practices as mapped out, do to a practitioner and church planter provide a thick and textured map that I can resonate with. Indeed the high point of Tony’s work is his phenomenology, and ethnographic framed with the work of Bourdieu. The result is that Tony’s work is no theoretical reflection on practice, avoiding some notion of the disinterested researcher who thinks practice flows from thinking. Instead Tony is self consciously a practitioner embedded in the very practices and communities that he reflecting on. If we are every to really understand what is going on in E/C communities we are going to need more studies like Tony’s.
Tony’s work does reveal the ‘logic of practice’ for much of the E/C, and with some needed nuance as to the predispositions, appetites and proclivities that provide the habitus of those communities. As I read Tony the representation of the social bodies, enacted by the practices he delineates are almost palpable. It allows us to touch, smell, see and hear the social realities of much of the E/C. The habitus that Tony describes shows us where the E/C has through practices found it’s incorporation and social performatives around it’s embodied traditions.
Read the rest, and see where he disagrees with me: A sociality in search of an ecclesiology?: Jason Clark reviews Tony Jones’s ‘The Earth is Flat’. : the church and postmodern culture.