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Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics Paperback – April 28, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1441155450 ISBN-10: 1441155457 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (April 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441155457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441155450
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'This engaging collection is a helpful foundation for exploring the use of ethnography in Christian ethics and theology. The authors provide thoughtful and probing challenges to how social scientists and theologians do our work-encouraging us to question and alter some of the basic assumptions of our work so that we do it with genuine rigor rather than with unexamined normative commitments or using the social sciences as lax sources for theological reflection. The challenge is genuine and I encourage us to read and learn from this fine collection.' - Emilie M. Townes, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology Yale Divinity School, USA. (Emilie M. Townes)

Christian Scharen and Aana Marie Vigen have put together a remarkable book that fills many needs at once. The book surveys a wide range of ways scholars have engaged ethnography for the sake of theology and ethics. It consolidates a conversation. It then extends that conversation with a significant proposal for ethnography as theology and ethics. A series of examples begin to suggest the range and power of this vision. This book should become — immediately upon its publication — the generative center of one of the most important developments in contemporary theology and ethics. - Ted A. Smith, Vanderbilt University (Ted A. Smith)

'The turn to practice in Christian Theology and Ethics has made engagement with the social and cultural reality of the Church an urgent concern. Many talk about ethnography but few actually do it yet it is in doing of it that the theological force of 'practice' gains any kind of traction. it is the focus on actually doing ethnographic research that makes his book is a timely and significant contribution to the conversation around ethics and communal practices. In the introductory section the editors introduce key elements in ethnographic research. These are then illustrated through a series of studies. The result is a major resource for any one who wants to start to do ethnography as part of Christian Theology and Ethics.' - Pete Ward, Kings College London, UK. (Pete Ward)

'A powerful affirmation of the human lives that animate theological reflection and practice. This timely and compelling book is a must read for all concerned with the creative interface of anthropology and theology.' - João Biehl is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. He is the author of "Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment" and "Will to Live: AIDS Therapies and the Politics of Survival". (João Biehl)

'This engaging collection is a helpful foundation for exploring the use of ethnography in Christian ethics and theology. The authors provide thoughtful and probing challenges to how social scientists and theologians do our work-encouraging us to question and alter some of the basic assumptions of our work so that we do it with genuine rigor rather than with unexamined normative commitments or using the social sciences as lax sources for theological reflection. The challenge is genuine and I encourage us to read and learn from this fine collection.’ - Emilie M. Townes, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology Yale Divinity School, USA. (Sanford Lakoff)

Christian Scharen and Aana Marie Vigen have put together a remarkable book that fills many needs at once. The book surveys a wide range of ways scholars have engaged ethnography for the sake of theology and ethics. It consolidates a conversation. It then extends that conversation with a significant proposal for ethnography as theology and ethics. A series of examples begin to suggest the range and power of this vision. This book should become – immediately upon its publication – the generative center of one of the most important developments in contemporary theology and ethics. - Ted A. Smith, Vanderbilt University (Sanford Lakoff)

'The turn to practice in Christian Theology and Ethics has made engagement with the social and cultural reality of the Church an urgent concern. Many talk about ethnography but few actually do it yet it is in doing of it that the theological force of 'practice' gains any kind of traction. it is the focus on actually doing ethnographic research that makes his book is a timely and significant contribution to the conversation around ethics and communal practices. In the introductory section the editors introduce key elements in ethnographic research. These are then illustrated through a series of studies. The result is a major resource for any one who wants to start to do ethnography as part of Christian Theology and Ethics.’ - Pete Ward, Kings College London, UK. (Sanford Lakoff)

'A powerful affirmation of the human lives that animate theological reflection and practice. This timely and compelling book is a must read for all concerned with the creative interface of anthropology and theology.’ - João Biehl is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. He is the author of "Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment" and "Will to Live: AIDS Therapies and the Politics of Survival". (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Dr. Christian Scharen is Assistant Professor at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, USA where he teaches worship and practical theology. A leading scholar working at the intersection of ethnography and theology, he writes in the areas of worship, ethics, ecclesiology and popular culture. He is the author of several books and scholarly articles, including the forthcoming Broken Hallelujahs (Brazos 2011).


Dr. Aana Marie Vigen is Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Loyola University Chicago. Her areas of expertise bring ethnographic methods into conversation with medical ethics, feminist ethics, Protestant ethics, and white-anti racism commitments. She is the author of Women, Ethics, and Inequality in U.S. Healthcare: "To Count among the Living"(2006; new edition forthcoming in 2011) and co-editor of God, Science, Sex, Gender: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Christian Ethics (2010) along with several articles.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian M. Howell on December 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
In this book, Christian Scharen, a professor of worship and practical theology at Luther Seminary, and Aana Marie Vigen, a professor of social ethics at Loyola University in Chicago, have brought together a group of Christian ethicists and theologians from Catholic and Protestant traditions to consider how the practice and theory of ethnography intersects with Christian theology and ethics. Carefully laying out the theoretical and practical issues of ethnography, alongside diverse and careful ethnographic data, this book calms my trepidation while raising the excitement for this novel and fruitful use of ethnography as a context for Christian theology and ethics. By crossing traditional disciplinary lines, this book opens up normative questions of analysis that should be read in theology, anthropology, and by anyone interested in the ways people live out faith in diverse contexts.

The book opens with a forward by professor of theology Mary McClintock Fulkerson that succinctly states a key strength of the volume. "[Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics] surfaces the value-oriented dimensions of social scientific research and the intersections between social science, both quantitative and qualitative, and the `theological.' Furthermore, it illustrates rather than simply asserts their resonances and similarities." (p. xiii, emphasis in original)

The editors begin with four chapters to define and explain the idea of ethnography. In a powerful example of why it can be thrilling to see one's discipline described by those outside its conventional orbit, this section that provides one of the most succinct and compelling apologies for ethnographic methods I have read anywhere.
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By David Dubovich on August 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great resource.
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