The Canadian church today exists in the midst of a cultural revolution. Its once firm place as a shaper of culture is gone. Having held a central place of influence for over one hundred years, today the Church increasingly finds itself on the margins of society. How did we get here and how do we function in this new reality? Some are suggesting that the motif of exile may be the most appropriate way for the church in Canada to understand itself in this postmodern, post-Christian era. This course will explore the changing place of the church in Canadian society, the experience of exile, specifically as it pertained to the nation of Israel and the early church, and how the contemporary church can best live as an exilic people while still remaining faithful to its calling to be God’s missional people.
- To help students understand basic realities of contemporary Canadian culture and the changing place of the church in it.
- To understand key theological responses to exile in Old Testament, Second Temple and New Testament Literature.
- To become conversant with exile as a concept and as a potential motif for helping the Canadian Church understand itself in the 21st century.
- To encourage reflection and integration in terms of personal, congregational, and political aspects of Christian identity in Canada today.
- To help students develop their own ability to integrate the motif of exile into their own spirituality and leadership in their congregations.
- To help students develop their ability to draw from biblical theology to do practical theology and vice-versa.
- Equip students with the ability to use the Biblical resources that emerge from an exilic context in a way that informs their own lives and ministries.
- To give students resources for applying contextually relevant ministry strategies in their current and future ministry contexts.