<Previous Edition | Volume 20 Number 2 2003 | Next Edition>

An issue on Urban Theology, guest-edited by Peter Robinson
of the Newcastle Diocese Project in Urban Ministry and Theology

Andrew Davey National Adviser on Community and Urban Affairs for the Mission and Public Affairs Division of the Archbishops' Council
Flesh and Blood Cities: The Struggle for Urban Realism in Theological Practice

Andrew Davey calls for a new church praxis around the theme of persistence in the urban context and does so through a critique of contemporary urban theology. Late modernity's experience of urbicide combines with an implicit anti-urbanism in both Christian and secular thinking and also with a laissez faire attitude to city issues to offer a bleak outlook for city living. For the church and its partners, this must be overcome not simply by the tactics of resistance but through a strategy of discovering ways to 'live the urban'. Christian communities require a new praxis so that 'seeking the peace of the city' becomes both an authentic process and a realistic goal.

Hilary Russell Deputy Director of the European Institute for Urban Affairs at the Liverpool John Moores University.
Trust in the City: Reviving and Enriching Urban Areas through Effective Social Policy

Hilary Russell explores current urban social policy and concludes that trust must be both the presupposition and the goal of effective policy making. She raises the question of the involvement of communities of faith - why are they around the table in the first place? Will their presence contribute towards building the trust required? Implicit in the argument is an assumption that a critical theological reading of government policy documents is essential for answering such questions.

Jenny Richardson Formerly with the Evangelical Urban Training Project/Unlock and recently appointed as the Church Army's Staff Development Officer.
Reading the Bible in the City: Urban Culture, Context and Interpretation

Jenny Richardson explores her experience of reading the bible in the urban context, both as a resident and also as a teacher. Central to her argument is that a critically appropriated concept of class, allied with the categories of modernism and postmodernism facilitates and enhances an understanding of the dissonance that many city people experience with traditional bible reading methods.

Howard Worsley Director of Studies and Tutor in Practical Theology at St John's College Nottingham
The Return of the City: The Revival of Practical Theology in the Urban Context

Howard Worsley offers a plea for a return to the city. He argues why it is that practical theology must be restored to the city, advocates reasons why this is not proving an easy thing to achieve and makes some proposals for the future. Central to the argument is that the Christian encounter with the God who make himself vulnerable in the suffering Christ is the proper starting point for such a return.