‘There is then a twofold work for those projects involved in developing transformative practices of hope: the work of generating new imaginary significations and the work of forming institutions that mark such significations’ (Graham Ward, Cultural Transformation and Religious Practice, p.146)
The emerging church is a diverse milieu of individuals and communities connected by social networking technologies. Strong affinities can be detected between its visions for Christianity in the 21st century and Radical Orthodoxy and deconstructive theology. Milieu participants construct two “imaginary significations” or “cultural imaginaries” that place these theologies into narratives that both make religious sense to the emerging church and make sense of emerging church religiosity. These imaginaries are performed through expressive actions that function as the means of the formation and transformation of individuals and collectives.
This paper identifies two cultural imaginaries from fieldwork with the emerging church and presents the ways in which difference and community are narrated and performed by milieu participants. It argues, however, that an “a/theistic cultural imaginary” is most able to furnish the emerging church milieu with the narratival and performative means of affirming and enacting a radical theological sociality of difference without division within the post-secular pluralism of the United Kingdom.
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