The journal Methodist Review recently published another article that may be of interest to UM & Global's readers. It draws on history and theology to comment on the intercultural nature of The United Methodist Church. Hendrik R. Pieterse and David W. Scott wrote "Soundings Towards an Intercultural Identity for The United Methodist Church: Some Historical and Theological Resources." The piece can be found for free, with registration, on Methodist Review's website. A full abstract for the piece is below.
Hendrik R. Pieterse and David W. Scott, "Soundings Towards an Intercultural Identity for The United Methodist Church: Some Historical and Theological Resources"
The United Methodist Church today is in an identity crisis rooted in the
role of culture, power, and agency in the negotiation of denominational
identity. To confront these challenges, the UMC must recognize the
extent to which white American understandings of Methodism have
functioned as normative in debates over Methodist identity. To
illustrate the intercultural dynamics at stake, we analyze the history
of Italian and Japanese immigrants’ struggle to find a place within
American Methodism in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
These case studies show that Methodism flourished when there was room
for intercultural conversation about its nature. Thus, United Methodists
need an alternative understanding of our collective identity that
evolves out of intercultural conversations that remain alert to the role
of culture, power, and agency in identity formation. We suggest that
one promising resource in this task is the Methodist practice of
conferencing or dialogue.