Transforming Theology

Tripp Fuller, Tony Jones and a whole list of of other folks are taking off on a pretty interesting journey.

I’m playing catchup after a week off but as I’ve briefly gathered, there will be a conference in mid-March as well as several others throughout the year and briefly, “The mission of the Transforming Theology network is to tighten the bonds between theology and transformative action in the church and the world.”

Transforming Theology Mission ::

Our goal is an ambitious one: to create the intellectual framework for a progressive religious vision. By forming a broad alliance between the leading scholars and organizations in Christian religion today, we aim at nothing less than to “reclaim the progressive voice.” There are movements on the ground, active in various denominations and schools. Up to this point, however, what has been missing is a uniting intellectual and theoretical vision, comparable to what has emerged from the conservatives…

Beliefs orient communities; they create a sense of common cause; and frequently they motivate persons to sacrificial action. Motivating beliefs of this sort go by many names. They have been called ethical principles, rationales for action, ideologies, and worldviews. In the three Abrahamic traditions they are called “theologies”: beliefs about the world and the religious ultimate that suggest how one should live in the world. In order to guarantee that our project remains pluralistic and non-partisan, we will speak only of “theological models.” We claim that the loss of theological reflection represents a major crisis for the identity of religious communities and for their effectiveness as agents of social change, and we believe that concrete steps can be taken to reintroduce transformative reflection that leads to transformative action. We focus on Christianity, not because it is “truer” than other traditions, but because it is the tradition we know best and on which we can have the greatest influence. Thus our title: “Rekindling Theological Reflection: Transformative Thought for Progressive Action.”

The goal is not to talk about beliefs for belief’s sake. Yet religious beliefs will undeniably play a crucial role if progressive religion is again to impact the world on behalf of social change. The goal is not theory for theory’s sake. But some theoretical framing is required if progressive forces are to have the vision and the sustained commitment to move forward. In the past, progressive religion in America was able to move fluidly from theological models to transformative action, and from praxis in the world to new and richer theological models. We believe it is time to rekindle the organic interplay of religious thought and action. Renewing the justification for action will have general impact on local congregations, denominations, and a variety of progressive networks focusing on social change.

There’s a number of videos and blog posts over on the site and they’re also looking for your input.

In fact, Tripp and Tony are looking for your most pressing ‘God’ question to ask the gathered theologians in March. You can submit them via the comments section on the blog, email, youtube, etc.

And they’re even awarding the most active participants, including a travel stipend to be a special corespondent at a conference in September 09.

So, what is your most pressing ‘God question?’ Share it here and over at

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Jonathan Blundell

I'm a husband, father, blogger, podcaster, author and media geek who is hoping to live a simple life and follow The Way. How can I help you tell your story?

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