How can Christians engage with power and politics in fruitful ways, as people who want to see the kingdom come on earth as in heaven? James Butler introduces a brand new course from CMS Pioneer Mission Training in collaboration with the thinktank Theos.
As Christians we want to see a different world, a world that is just and where love of God and love of neighbour are central concerns. Just as we regularly pray, we want to see God’s kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.
However, it is not always straightforward to know what that means in the busyness and messiness of everyday life. Christians and churches can be nervous about engaging in ‘politics’ with loud voices telling them that religion is a private matter.
Questions of politics and faith
In this atmosphere, Christian political engagement often focuses on pastoral and compassionate responses to need. It is also clear that Christians and churches can get stuck either in protest mode or developing friendships of prayer and support.
Can Christians can engage in politics in a way which engages with the complexity, is not afraid of the messiness and challenges injustice? How can Christians and churches build relationships of critical friendship, and partnerships which make a real difference in the world?
These are exactly the questions which drive the new module we are launching as part of the MA at CMS Pioneer Mission Training – Faith in Public: Political Theology for Mission.
Political theology meets mission
This unique course provides a deep dive into living as Christians and being churches in public.
Bringing together expertise from both Church Mission Society and Theos, the religion and society think tank, this course explores what it means to be a Christian in the public space and how we witness in the public space as individuals, churches and Christian communities.
In this course we will explore issues of power and politics and the way Christians and church can act in informed ways to build relationships to bring about change. It will focus on Christian responses to power, different approaches to politics, the place of witness, the commitment to justice and the ways individuals, churches, and organisations have put those into practice.
Join us in the heart of London
The course is a three-day residential in London from 11 to 13 July, sandwiched between three online evening sessions (from 6.30pm to 8pm on Monday 17 June, Monday 1 July and Monday 22 July) which set the scene and allow further reflection. There will be workshops and seminars led by CMS and Theos, visits to churches, organisations and individuals engaged as Christians in public life, and guest speakers.
The course can be taken as part of the postgraduate study at CMS and contribute towards an MA, be taken as part of any Common Awards MA, or can be taken as a standalone course.
Accommodation is provided by The Royal Foundation of St Katharine.
Cost is £650 or £550 for students.
Spaces are limited so book now to avoid disappointment by emailing Helen Harwood at CMS.