American Civil (lr)religion and Christian Peoplehood: Education and the Intuition of Membership

Ken Myers suggest ways in which non-denominational schools can keep the “Church” in “parachurch,” encouraging a more emphatic recognition of participation in the culture of the people of God.

In recent years, there has been a widespread recovery of an awareness that education (like discipleship) is a process of formation that addresses the imagination and the affections. This process involves embodied practices (“liturgies”) within communities that have speci c moral and theological horizons. Because children are likely to be malformed by many conventional practices in contemporary nihilistic society, their guardians (i.e., parents, teachers, and clergy) need to be more diligent and deliberate in enculturating them: conveying to them a way of life tting for who they are. Leaders in Christian schools often sense that they are more attentive to the challenges of formation than are many parents and clergy. In this workshop, Ken Myers will argue that one reason that families, schools, and churches seem to be working at cross- purposes is because of a low view of the Church, her role in the project of redemption, and her identity in the world. He will suggest ways in which non-denominational schools can keep the “Church” in “parachurch,” encouraging a more emphatic recognition of participation in the culture of the people of God.

Ken Myers

Ken Myers is the host and producer of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, a bimonthly audio magazine that examines issues in contemporary culture from a framework shaped by historic Christian thought and practice. He was formerly the editor of This World, the quarterly predecessor to First Things. Prior to his tenure at This World, he was executive editor of Eternity, the Evangelical monthly magazine. For eight years, he was a producer and editor for National Public Radio, working for much of that time as arts and humanities editor for the two news programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered. A graduate of the University of Maryland and of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Mr. Myers is the author of All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture (Crossway Books, 1989). He has wri en for numerous periodicals, including The Wilson Quarterly, Discipleship Journal, and First Things. He writes a regular column in Touchstone magazine called “From Heavenly Harmony,” has served on several evaluation panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, and lectures frequently at colleges, universities, seminaries, and churches around the country.

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