Dear students and colleagues,
During Orientation Week (27-30 August), our incoming students will spend a number of sessions discussing theologian Diana Butler Bass' book, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening
. The book is an assessment of the current state of the Church, how we got here, and how we might move in a vital way into the future. Bass supports her arguments with ample statistical data, but this is not a book about the sociology of religion. In other words, it is not a purely scientific study. The author is a well-respected Episcopal theologian, whose concern is the Gospel and how the Church lives it and proclaims it "after religion" has lost the place it once held, or seemed to hold, in Western culture.
The students will be asked to begin now, from their first days at General, to make deliberate choices about preparing for the places they will have in the ranks of the baptized when they graduate. Whether preparing for ordained ministry or the greater ministry we all share, each of these students must choose carefully how to use her or his time at GTS to get the tools for the task that is to come.
All of us who are Christians face the same challenge, so we who are planning the Orientation invite every member of the GTS community -- students, staff, faculty, administration -- to join our newest members in these discussions. There will be two or three sessions of an hour and a half. If you would like to take part, let me know by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff members, please first discuss arrangements with your manager.
The Rev. Canon Patrick Malloy, PhD
Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening is available at:
Amazon.com including Kindle
Barns and Noble.com including Nook
iBooks for iPad