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God's Mission and Postmodern Culture: The Gift of Uncertainty

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Postmodernity is a name that has been attached to our cultural milieu. Among its features are a sense of historical consciousness, a recognition of the social construction of knowledge, an appreciation for pluralism, and a suspicion of grand narratives. It is a cultural worldview that is naturally suspicious of Christian mission. Meanwhile, conservative Catholics are Postmodernity is a name that has been attached to our cultural milieu. Among its features are a sense of historical consciousness, a recognition of the social construction of knowledge, an appreciation for pluralism, and a suspicion of grand narratives. It is a cultural worldview that is naturally suspicious of Christian mission. Meanwhile, conservative Catholics are equally suspicious of postmodernism, associating it with relativism, secularism, and syncretism). Drawing on his own mission training and experience, John Sivalon believes the gospel can and must be inculturated in any culture, and he believes that postmodernism, rather than rendering Christian mission meaningless, breathes fresh insight, vision, and life into Vatican II s notion that mission is centered in the very heart of God. Above all, postmodernism offers the gift of uncertainty --the ground of questioning, Why are we doing this? What should we do? How is it best done? With actual case studies that reflect the new face of mission, Fr. Sivalon offers a hopeful vision of how the Gospel retains its challenge and relevance in an age of uncertainty and change.


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Postmodernity is a name that has been attached to our cultural milieu. Among its features are a sense of historical consciousness, a recognition of the social construction of knowledge, an appreciation for pluralism, and a suspicion of grand narratives. It is a cultural worldview that is naturally suspicious of Christian mission. Meanwhile, conservative Catholics are Postmodernity is a name that has been attached to our cultural milieu. Among its features are a sense of historical consciousness, a recognition of the social construction of knowledge, an appreciation for pluralism, and a suspicion of grand narratives. It is a cultural worldview that is naturally suspicious of Christian mission. Meanwhile, conservative Catholics are equally suspicious of postmodernism, associating it with relativism, secularism, and syncretism). Drawing on his own mission training and experience, John Sivalon believes the gospel can and must be inculturated in any culture, and he believes that postmodernism, rather than rendering Christian mission meaningless, breathes fresh insight, vision, and life into Vatican II s notion that mission is centered in the very heart of God. Above all, postmodernism offers the gift of uncertainty --the ground of questioning, Why are we doing this? What should we do? How is it best done? With actual case studies that reflect the new face of mission, Fr. Sivalon offers a hopeful vision of how the Gospel retains its challenge and relevance in an age of uncertainty and change.

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