The Science and Application of the Future of Religious Orders Study" (three videos and study guide: "Focus on Leadership," Focus on Spirituality," "Focus on Innovation.")

Citation: 
Nygren, David, Miriam Ukeritis, Susan Anderson, and Katherine Hanley. "The Science and Application of the Future of Religious Orders Study" (three videos and study guide: "Focus on Leadership," Focus on Spirituality," "Focus on Innovation.") Boston: Boston, 1994.
Abstract: 

"FOCUS on Innovation" consists of an interview with a noted innovation expert from the University of Chicago, advice on how congregations can begin to innovate, and clips of successful innovations adopted by religious orders, such as the Alexian Brothers' AIDS ministry. "FOCUS on Leadership" addresses obstacles to good leadership and provides concrete steps to ensure effective leadership. "FOCUS on Spirituality" addresses the place of God in the lives of religious, concentrating particularly on developing understandings of Christ. The study guide contains sections devoted to the three major topics addressed by the videocassettes: innovation, leadership and spirituality. It is designed to enable groups of religious to reflect upon the findings of the FOCUS study and formulate plans of action. The theological monograph and historical postscript provided by Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, and John Padberg, SJ, in the section on spirituality are among the most valuable and stimulating pieces in the study guide. In "Between the Times: Religious Life and the Post Modern Experience of God," Johnson suggests that influences such as feminist and liberation theology, scientific advances, and dialogues between Christianity and other faiths have changed the way people experience God. Consequently, "forms of religious life that traditionally mediated the experience of God now not only do not mediate this experience but positively block it." Johnson advises religious congregations not to cling to the past, but rather to "act boldly toward that future where new forms of evangelical life will develop." Padberg's essay, "In the Midst of the Times: Religious Life and the Ever- Present Experience of the World," sets the current crisis in American religious life in historical context. He then discusses four distinct spiritualities that have characterized religious orders throughout history and points out that apostolic spirituality was particularly well-suited to the needs of the American church prior to Vatican II. The forces unleashed by the Second Vatican Council and other events of the times, however, require a new response that has not yet been developed.

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