How can Catholic leaders effectively train and form members of our institutions in the Gospel values that are the ultimate foundation of Catholic identities?
Internationally recognized author, educator, and facilitator Gerald A. Arbuckle argues that it is time to acknowledge that the programs and processes used in the past are inadequate to our postmodern age. The systems previously used to educate the staffs of our hospitals, universities, schools, and other institutions rarely succeed today. Although didactic teaching and discursive learning have their place, they cannot be the primary method for forming identities.
Catholic Identity or Identities? will assist a wide range of people-bishops, theologians, pastoral workers, institutional leaders and staffs, and more-in their various ministries. Arbuckle draws on several disciplines, including Scripture, theology, and history, but in particular cultural anthropology, to explain the importance of refounding adult formation for Catholic ministries and the practical ways to achieve it.
Gerald A. Arbuckle, SM, is codirector of Refounding and Pastoral Development, a research ministry, in Sydney, Australia. He is internationally known for his expertise in helping church leaders minister effectively in a postmodern world. He is the author of many books, including Violence, Society, and the Church; Laughing with God; and Culture, Inculturation, and Theologians, all from Liturgical Press.
With characteristic clarity, depth, and wisdom, Gerald Arbuckle offers reflections on refounding and Catholic identity, two important elements in today's call to engage in a 'new evangelization.' For Arbuckle, the only real way to evangelize is to refound-to express who we are as Christians by a creative retelling of the Christian story. Readers who have been inspired and challenged by Arbuckle's earlier books will not be disappointed when they read this one.
Stephen B. Bevans, SVD, Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD Professor of Mission and Culture, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois
Anyone working in a Catholic ministry today knows that Catholic identity is a hot-button issue. Multiple complex factors within and beyond the ministry contribute to the current challenging reality. Since the late eighties, in several acclaimed books, Father Gerald Arbuckle has challenged believers to ground their ministries in the narratives of Jesus. Once again, he addresses contemporary ministry in a just-in-time fashion, presenting both a multifaceted descriptive account as well as practical prescriptive practices for the reader's consideration. This book is a must for those serving as sponsors, senior leaders, mission leaders, or formators of tomorrow's leaders in Catholic ministry. Eschewing a didactic methodology, social anthropologist Arbuckle utilizes a more inductive, narrative approach to draw forth a deep and lasting commitment to church ministry.
Patricia Talone, RSM, PhD, Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA)
`Chaos' and `Refounding' are the hallmark tropes of Gerald Arbuckle's now huge literary corpus. With a magisterial command of contemporary theological literature, Arbuckle applies his anthropological insights to the `refounding' (not `renewal'!) of Christian ministries, especially in education and health care, for our `chaotic' times. If his proposals on Catholic identities (not `identity'!) are implemented, there will be a rebirth of Christian ministries appropriate for our postmodern age. Once again, the church owes Arbuckle a huge debt.
Dr. Peter C. Phan, The Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University
This book brings together the accumulated wisdom and experience of Gerald Arbuckle's pioneering work on 'refounding' and applies it to an urgent question of our time: preserving and furthering the Catholic identity of educational and healthcare institutions. It is a must-read for anyone concerned about the public face of the Catholic Church in an increasingly secularized, postmodern world.
Robert Schreiter, Author of The New Catholicity