Saturday, 5 January 2008

Authority Options in Christianity

Following recent debate whether Conservative-Liberal is old hat, I decided to look at and revise again my revised mainstream triangle - the one that originates with my Ph.D. It is on my business pages (but links from Learning - Religion, to Academic) because of the crossover with business and organisation theory.

The big problem was how to incorporate new developments into the triangle - Emerging Church, Radical Orthodoxy... The answer came to me this time that these are to be placed with what they are trying to represent, and not to separate out postmodernism. Up to now postmodernism has implied the radical end of liberalism. Not so, necessarily, even if some realists are going to be suspicious. Suddenly a sense of balance comes back to the mainstream triangle, and all it needs are spurs into the academic upper level.

The fact is that the five authority patterns remain: charismatic, traditional, bureaucratic, systemic and human relations. It is these which maintain the liberal and the conservative, but the theologies distribute themselves about. What is happening to the mainstream triangle, thanks to the ordination of women and more recently the announcement of GAFCON, is that the corners and edges are flying off.

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