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Church and Countryside: Insights from Rural Theology Paperback – 30 Sep 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: SCM Press (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0334042038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0334042037
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 747,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

In this thoughtful, reflective and imaginative book, Tim Gibson has given us an outstanding insight into rural ministry today. He offers a shrewd, perceptive and wise analysis of the opportunities and challenges that face the rural church. He is able to articulate the hope and prospects for future ministry, and offers a theologically vibrant and tenacious vision for the rural church. Spiritually vivid and imaginatively written, this is a superb book for all those who want to explore how the rural church can conduct its mission and ministry in today's world --Martyn Percy, Principal, Ripon College Cuddesdon

In this insightful and refreshing analysis of the rural church and countryside concerns (food, farming, rural services, landscape and leisure), Tim Gibson takes theology seriously and demonstrates that theology matters. Here is a sustained attempt in rural theology that is both worth the attention of clergy and accessible to lay people. --Leslie Francis, Professor of Religions and Education at University of Warwick, and Canon Theologian at Bangor Cathedral

Dr Gibson offers an account of rural theology that is accessible, hopeful and realistic. It will be a valuable catalyst for discussion in very many rural contexts. His stress on the centrality of the eucharist is particularly timely and challenging at a juncture at which eucharistic life is tending to diminish within ever-larger groupings of churches. Warmly recommended --Christopher Southgate, Research Fellow in Theology, University of Exeter

About the Author

Dr Tim Gibson is a core staff member and MA programme leader at STETS in Salisbury as well as a freelance journalist specializing in motoring and rural affairs. He is a Reader in the Church of England and regularly leads services and preaches in a group of rural parishes


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Format: Paperback
As someone who has just been appointed as a Curate to a rural Parish, I am keen to get to grips with Rural Theology (a much under-explored and poor neighbour to Urban Theology). This book does not disappoint, providing a useful primer on Rural Theology and its attendant issues. To its advantage it takes a strongly Catholic/ Eucharist centred line, noting how the Mass lies at the centre of the Church as 'community' and how we cannot properly 'do' rural theology and the Eucharist at its heart. Where the book fails, however, is its attack on Social Capital, which the author (wrongly in my view) reads as being coming out of a consequentialist ethic, one where people build community because of what they can get out of it, not because it is itself a good.

Such a reading of Social Capital wrongly assumes that Social Capital comes out of self-attentive communities, who are only interested in outcomes (building more Social Capital) than they are in building a good community, one of the results of which is strong Social Capital. The author's reading is faulty because it assumes that there are communities which are low in Social Capital because people choose for their communities to be so. Whereas Social Capital is a result of pre-existing good communities, not something that people come together specifically to form.

It is a shame that such a line is taken on Social Capital as it is such an important idea with community building and formation. It is also a shame that such a negative line is taken in one of the very few books that has been written about Rural Theology as a means of theological reflection, rather than merely being an outcome of rural life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Coming from a background of his own experience of rur5al ministry this slim volume expresses some heartfelt and warm thoughts about this vital ministry. AS real necessity for those in ministerial training
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Format: Paperback
This is a rare, insightful and refreshing analysis of the rural church. While in recent years much attention among theologians has been focused on the city and on what makes a good city, much of church life in Britain takes place in the context of rural communities. In the context of their daily work, clergy find themselves confronted with complex ethical, political and social issues. Church and Countryside maps out an engaging rural theology that addresses some of the concerns faced by Britain's rural population and those who minister to them. While other books in this field focus on practical mission-orientated aspects of ministry in the countryside, Tim Gibson offers a discussion of some of the relevant issues from the point of view of Christian ethics.

Thoughtful, reflective, imaginative and deserving of widespread favour.
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