Saturday, April 02, 2011

Church in the Present Tense

After what seems like a really, really long wait (I downloaded drafts of the chapters from the web in February 2009), I finally got my copy of Church in the Present Tense: A Candid Look at What's Emerging through the post this week. Edited by Kevin Corcoran (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College), it includes chapters from Corcoran himself, Jason Clark, Pete Rollins, and Scot McKnight.

Yes, they're all white men (see the direction in which the comments thread on Jonny Baker's review went). Yes, both the blurb on the back and Corcoran's own comments stress that each of the authors have doctorates. And, yes, there are plenty of women with PhDs that could've contributed (including Maggi Dawn, Heidi Campbell, and Gladys Ganiel - all female academics active within the emerging church conversation and/or who have conducted scholarly work on aspects of the conversation, whom Corcoran, as a sefl-described "newbie" to the conversation, ought to explore if he wants "some scholarly voices [to] weigh in on the conversation" - oh, and me).

But this is a slightly odd criticism to make of a book with only four contributors. It's not like it's an edited collection with over 20 chapters, none of which are writtten by women or ethnic minorities. And it can detract from serious engagement with the contents of Church in the Present Tense... something I hope to be able to undertake in the next little while. Maybe I'll attempt to read it on my flight to New York next week.

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