Church-in-the-Neighbourhood: A Spatio-Theological Ethnography of Protestant Christian Place-Making in the Suburban Context of Lunetten, Utrecht

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis - Research and graduation internal

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Abstract

Recent decades have seen the emergence of the popular missional ‘church-in-the-neighbourhood’ discourse in churches and among individual Christians in the West. It appears as part of a broad range of good practices, in Christians books and magazines, on websites, in sermons and small group resources, as well as in Christian neighbourhood initiatives, networks and church denominations. What is being sought are inspirational, highly localised forms of Christian witness and community that connect to the everyday life of the neighbourhood and the people who live there. The aim of this book is to examine this ‘church-in-the-neighbourhood’ discourse; how it shapes actual practices; and how its potential should be evaluated for missionary church renewal in contemporary suburban contexts. These questions are addressed through an ethnographic case study of Protestant Christianity in the suburban neighbourhood of Lunetten in the city of Utrecht, where the quest for forms of Christian presence has existed since its early beginnings in the 1970s and 80s up to the present day. An interdisciplinary conversation is sought between contextual missiology and critical spatial theory. By using the concept of ‘religious place-making’, it seeks to study how Christian groups and individuals live in, relate to and think about their neighbourhood.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Stoffels, Hijme, Supervisor
  • Klaver, M, Supervisor
Award date9 Jun 2021
Place of Publications.l.
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Contextual Missiology
  • Neighbourhood
  • Religious Place-making
  • Lunetten
  • Church renewal
  • Missional movement
  • Protestant Christianity

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