Exile is an experience of living away from home. While most often associated with someone being sent away from their homeland, exilic experience can encompass more than physical banishment. We can experience exile in multiple ways including spiritually when we go through a time of experiencing a sense of God’s absence. For ancient Israel exile was a profound experience of removal from their land and of struggle with where God was in their exilic experience. Through the exilic prayers of a number of Psalms and the book of Lamentations Israel cultivated a sustaining communal spirituality that sustained them through this trying time. Today, the church in North America faces a time of cultural displacement and new challenges, yet it remains crucial to the mission of God in todays context. The same spiritual resources that sustained ancient Israel have potential to form and sustain congregations in Post-Christian contexts today. This course will examine the experience of exile, the reality of Israel’s historic exile, the movements of lament, reorientation, memory and hope that sustain spiritual communities and how these resources apply to congregations today.
- Upon completion of this course students will be able to explain a basic understanding of the meaning of exile, its Old Testament experience, its New Testament usages and its usefulness for the church in various contexts today.
- Upon completion of this course students will be able to describe the implications of Old Testament exilic prayer language and its movements of lament, reorientation, memory and hope for the church today and provide ideas for their implementation in the life of a congregation.
- As a result of this course students will be able to offer a vision for communal spirituality and its importance to the church’s mission today.
- Upon completion of this course students will be equipped to help congregations consider and put into practice new spiritual disciplines in their corporate life.
- Upon completion of this course students will be able to identify specific cultural and contextual issues that affect the effectiveness of the church’s mission toady and articulate how an exilic paradigm can empower the church to greater missional faithfulness.