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    The Tensions of Ministry

    Conway, Michael A. (2015) The Tensions of Ministry. The Furrow, 66. pp. 196-209. ISSN 0016-3120

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    A living faith is gifted, lived, and transmitted from within the horizon that is culture. There is no faith life that is not expressed to some degree or other in the terms of the supporting culture. ‘Living faith’ – in the sense of being alive and life-giving and in the sense of being an action and an endeavour – is not only expressed in the terms of a ‘living culture,’ but it is, itself, nourished by that culture within which it sinks its redemptive roots. The achievements of any particular culture become the subsoil in which the life of faith renews the culture and is itself renewed by that same culture in every age. In this article I would like to consider two achievements of contemporary culture that now have a powerful bearing on ‘living’ faith and, in the light of these, explore briefly a number of issues in the living out of faith. The first achievement is what I will term the recognition of singularity as a way of understanding the human person in its total integrity; and the second is the importance of story or narrative in coming to a full realization (in both senses) of our personal identity. Against this background I’d like then to explore what I will call ‘intrinsic tensions’ in the living out of the life of faith. Whereas these ‘tensions’ hold in different and varying degrees for all who strive to live faith in our contemporary culture, they are thrown into sharp relief in priestly life, and here I will pay particular attention to a number of crucial issues. This is an initial attempt to reflect on material that is not only complex on a number of levels (theological, sociological, psychological, etc), but that looks to a future, which, although upon us, is not yet established in any definitive and remarkable way.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Tensions; Ministry;
    Academic Unit: St Patrick's College, Maynooth > Faculty of Theology
    Item ID: 7798
    Depositing User: Michael A. Conway
    Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2017 11:00
    Journal or Publication Title: The Furrow
    Publisher: St. Patrick's College, Maynooth
    Refereed: Yes

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