Conversation, Risk, and Conversion: The Inner and Public Life of Small Christian Communities.

Citation: 
Cowan, Michael A., and Bernard J Lee. Conversation, Risk, and Conversion: The Inner and Public Life of Small Christian Communities. Orbis, 1997.
Abstract: 

Michael A. Cowan and Michael J. Lee describe the dynamics of small Christian communities within the Roman Catholic Church weaving their narrative around the themes of conversation, risks, and conversion. Cowan and Lee describe conversation as the root metaphor that governs the way of life exemplified by the small Christian communities across the United States. Genuine conversation leads to conversion within the community and manifests itself in the inner and public life of the communities. Most communities have six to twelve members and meet weekly or biweekly. Leadership of the community is almost always lay; while most of these communities maintain parish relations, they seek more community and mission than offered by parish programs.
The authors locate the origins and growth of small Christian communities in response to specific needs arising within the broader American culture in general, particularly those fueled by poverty and the need for community identity. The future prospects of the communities are tied with how well it meets the needs of its own members and those around the communities’ immediate context. The authors conclude the book with an epilogue feature narratives from leaders of small Christian communities describing their experience.

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