The field of ecclesiology is rapidly expanding as new material, theories, methods, and approaches are being explored. This raises important and challenging questions concerning ecclesiology as an academic discipline. This book takes the reader into the trenches of ecclesiological research where the actual work of reading, writing, interpreting, and analyzing is being done. The authors reflect on fundamental questions concerning theory and method in ecclesiology in relation to concrete and actual research projects. Ecclesiology is dealt with as a systematic, empirical, historical, and liturgical discipline. Essays explore theology in South Africa as shaped by apartheid, liturgical theology, the diaconate in an ecumenical context, Free Church preachership, suburban ecclesial identity, medieval church practices, liturgical texts, church floor plans, and ecclesiology as a gendered discipline.
Ecclesiology in the Trenches is a book for anyone who is interested and involved in ecclesiological research. It is also an example of a reflective approach to academic work. The book can be read as an overall argument for ecclesiology as a theological discipline with great potential for studying the church as a theologically defined empirical phenomenon.