Understanding Postmodernism and its Implications for Youth Ministry<br />
Luke 24:13-35 <br />13That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14...
Luke 24:13-35, cont’d <br />21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now ...
Luke 24:13-35, cont’d <br />28So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going fart...
Paradigm, a definition<br />n.  A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing re...
Paradigm shift<br />n.  In 1962, Thomas Kuhn defined and popularized the concept of the “paradigm shift”. In his view, his...
A Christian view of paradigm shift<br />“In order to faithfully engage with God, the Scriptures, and the world in which we...
Anatomy of a paradigm shift<br />Earlytransition<br />Latetransition<br />Old paradigm<br />New paradigm<br />cramped/insu...
The church has weathered three major paradigm shifts (ancient, medieval, and Enlightenment/modernity); many now see the sc...
Medieval-to-modern shift<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />New communication technology, with profound effect...
Medieval-to-modern shift, cont’d<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />New transportation technologies increase t...
Modern-to-postmodern shift<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />New communication technology, with profound effe...
Modern-to-postmodern shift, cont’d<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />A new intellectual elite emerges, challe...
Modern-to-postmodern shift, cont’d<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />New military technology.<br />New attack...
a quick look at the<br />Three preceding paradigms<br />
±2500 b.c.e.      ±600 c.e.       ±1500 c.e.       ±2000 c.e.<br />Prehistory    <br />AncientWorld    <br />MedievalWorld...
Ancient Christianity (±100-500c.e.)the classical era<br />Christianity goes from being an unknown and ignored religion, to...
Medieval Christianity (±500-1500c.e.)the rise of roman catholicism<br />The church is so enmeshed with the Roman Empire th...
Enlightenment Era (±1500c.e.-Today)reformation era + modern era<br />Printing press and Luther’s German bible translation ...
Modernity & Enlightenment<br />“The Enlightenment project was meant to show that human beings were kings of the universe, ...
Characteristics of modernityfoundationalism & objectivity<br />Foundationalism is the methodology by which one breaks ever...
Descartes’ “method for rightly conducting reason”</li></ul>1. See Jones, Tony. Postmodern Youth Ministry. Grand Rapids: Yo...
Characteristics of modernityprogress & melioristic optimism<br />“[People of modernity] assumed that things would get bett...
Characteristics of modernitycolonialism & differentiation<br />Conquest and control; hegemony<br />Differentiation: Breaki...
What postmodernity is and isn’t<br />POST-modernity, then, is postfoundational, postcolonial, etc.<br />Post ≠ anti (most ...
Paradigm shifts, once again<br />“Kuhn’s designation of these paradigm shifts as revolutions is not hyperbolic. Paradigms ...
Characteristics of postmodernity<br />
Characteristics of postmodernitypost-foundationalism & subjectivity<br />Recognition that objective truth is a thoroughly ...
Characteristics of postmodernityhyperreality & nihilsm<br />Life through the “1024 window”<br />8-18 yr. olds spend 7:38/d...
Slide provided by Andy Root, author of Relationships Unfiltered (2009)and The Promise of Despair (2010, forthcoming). <br />
Characteristics of postmodernityglobalization & pluralism<br /><ul><li>Caputo’s irreducible pluralism: “Voices and choices...
Erosion of modern (colonial) boundaries and intensification of global contacts
Fueled by information/mediaand consumer capitalism
ELCA homosexuality vote</li></li></ul><li>Toward a (re)new(ed) youth ministry<br />
The question<br />&quot;How can we develop, in respect of religious belief, [young] minds which are not only open to fresh...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Postmodernity & Youth Ministry

1,690
-1

Published on

This is a presentation prepared for the 2010 ELCA YMNET Extravaganza titled "Understanding Postmodernism and its Implications for Youth Ministry"

Published in: Spiritual
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,690
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
89
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • A paradigm is essentially a pair of glasses through which a culture sees the world. Individuals form what theologian Philip Clayton calls “world-and-life-views” (WLVs), which are informed by the dominant paradigm.
  • Pre-science; Earth is center of the universe and humanity is essentially the reason the universe exists – to support human life
  • The church, in response to enlightenment thinking, feels as though it must justify itself rationally/scientifically in order to exist in the modern world (giving rise to apologetics)
  • Rene Descartes, “I think, therefore I am.”  Our existence is provable by and dependent upon our ability to doubt and reason. Doubt and reason are the bedrock upon which the enlightenment was built.
  • “Modernity aims to achieve its goals by erecting walls and boundaries that will keep the world neatly divided and under control.” – Peter J. Leithart, Solomon Among the Postmoderns, 30
  • Postmodernity & Youth Ministry

    1. 1. Understanding Postmodernism and its Implications for Youth Ministry<br />
    2. 2. Luke 24:13-35 <br />13That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.<br />
    3. 3. Luke 24:13-35, cont’d <br />21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.<br />
    4. 4. Luke 24:13-35, cont’d <br />28So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.<br />
    5. 5. Paradigm, a definition<br />n. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline. Informally, “the prevailing view of things”.<br />
    6. 6. Paradigm shift<br />n. In 1962, Thomas Kuhn defined and popularized the concept of the “paradigm shift”. In his view, history is a “series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions”, and in those revolutions “one conceptual world view is replaced by another”. That displacement is a paradigm shift. Think of a paradigm shift as a complete change from one way of thinking to another. It’s a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. It doesn’t just happen, but is driven by agents of change. <br />
    7. 7. A Christian view of paradigm shift<br />“In order to faithfully engage with God, the Scriptures, and the world in which we live, we must ask the following questions: Where do we live, what is the nature of our cultural environment, and what is the posture of a church engaged in and shaped by such a milieu? What is our context, and what significance, if any, can be attributed to our context?”<br />Keel, Tim. Intuitive Leadership. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2007. 104.<br />
    8. 8. Anatomy of a paradigm shift<br />Earlytransition<br />Latetransition<br />Old paradigm<br />New paradigm<br />cramped/insupportable  frustration/reaction  construction/design  liberation/possibility<br />
    9. 9. The church has weathered three major paradigm shifts (ancient, medieval, and Enlightenment/modernity); many now see the scientific, technological, and philosophical changes that began in the 20th century as the birth pains of a fourth major transition: Postmodernity<br />
    10. 10. Medieval-to-modern shift<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />New communication technology, with profound effects of how people learn, think, and live.<br />New scientific worldview, with staggering implications for humanity.<br />A new intellectual elite emerges, challenging church authority and introducing a new epistemology (way of knowing).<br />Gutenberg&apos;s printing press revolutionizes human culture.<br />Copernicus asserts that the earth is not the center of the universe, toppling the medieval model of the universe.<br />Galileo, Newton, Bacon, and others give birth to modern science.<br />Adapted from Mclaren, Brian. A New Kind of Christian. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001. 29-31.<br />
    11. 11. Medieval-to-modern shift, cont’d<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />New transportation technologies increase the interaction of world cultures around the globe, making the world seem smaller.<br />Decay of an old economic system and rise of a new one.<br />New military technology.<br />New attack on dominant authorities, with defensive reaction.<br />The development of the caravel (sailing ship) for long voyages makes possible the explorations of the late 13th to early 16th centuries.<br />Market capitalism replaces feudalism.<br />Development of modern guns leads to development of the modern infantry and rise of modern nation-state.<br />Protestant Reformation denies the authority of the Roman Catholic Church; Counter-Reformation develops in response.<br />
    12. 12. Modern-to-postmodern shift<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />New communication technology, with profound effects of how people learn, think, and live.<br />New scientific worldview, with staggering implications for humanity.<br />Radio and television, and then the computer and the Internet, revolutionize human culture.<br />Post-Einsteinian theories of relativity, quantum mechanics, interdeterminacy, and the expanding universe unsettle the stable, mechanistic worldview of modern science, psychology, psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, and psychopharmacology create new ways of seeing ourselves and new crises in epistemology.<br />
    13. 13. Modern-to-postmodern shift, cont’d<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />A new intellectual elite emerges, challenging church authority and introducing a new epistemology (way of knowing).<br />New transportation technologies increase the interaction of world cultures around the globe, making the world seem smaller.<br />Decay of an old economic system and rise of a new one.<br />Postmodern philosophy challenges all existing elites and deconstructs existing epistemologies.<br />The development of air travel leads to the trivialization of national borders and intensifies the interaction of world cultures.<br />The global economy transforms both communism and capitalism, and the development of e-commerce suggests further market revolution.<br />
    14. 14. Modern-to-postmodern shift, cont’d<br />General category<br />Specific event<br />New military technology.<br />New attack on dominant authorities, with defensive reaction.<br />Air warfare and nuclear weapons change the face of warfare, and the new threats of terrorism (especially chemical and biological), power-grid sabotage, and cybercrime begin to revolutionize the role of governments in keeping peace.<br />Secularism, materialism, and urbanism contribute to the decline of institutional religion worldwide; fundamentalist movements arise in reaction and self-defense.<br />
    15. 15. a quick look at the<br />Three preceding paradigms<br />
    16. 16. ±2500 b.c.e. ±600 c.e. ±1500 c.e. ±2000 c.e.<br />Prehistory <br />AncientWorld <br />MedievalWorld <br />ModernWorld <br />PostmodernWorld <br />
    17. 17. Ancient Christianity (±100-500c.e.)the classical era<br />Christianity goes from being an unknown and ignored religion, to a persecuted religion, to a legal and permitted religion, to a favored religion, to the civil religion on Rome, all in a matter of 500 years.<br />
    18. 18. Medieval Christianity (±500-1500c.e.)the rise of roman catholicism<br />The church is so enmeshed with the Roman Empire that when Rome is sacked, the Church essentially takes over the role of sustaining European Culture.<br />Martyrs give way to monks; the influence of monasticism tended to develop a two-tiered church, in which laity were passive and clergy and monks were active and in charge – thought to be on a higher spiritual level<br />
    19. 19. Enlightenment Era (±1500c.e.-Today)reformation era + modern era<br />Printing press and Luther’s German bible translation make scripture available to all (“priesthood of all believers”)<br />Because of moveable type and the resulting new literacy, arguments become long, linear structures. Discussions about God become linear and word-oriented.<br />In 20th century, apologetics flourish (Josh McDowell, C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel)<br />
    20. 20. Modernity & Enlightenment<br />“The Enlightenment project was meant to show that human beings were kings of the universe, and, although God was still a major player, many thinkers were out to show that human beings are not dependent upon him.”<br />Jones, Tony. Postmodern Youth Ministry. Grand Rapids: Youth Specialties, 2001. 17.<br />
    21. 21. Characteristics of modernityfoundationalism & objectivity<br />Foundationalism is the methodology by which one breaks everything down to its most fundamental components and builds up from there.1<br /><ul><li>The “foundation” is one of universally valid fact – an absolute belief that cannot be questioned, or simply a sensory experience.
    22. 22. Descartes’ “method for rightly conducting reason”</li></ul>1. See Jones, Tony. Postmodern Youth Ministry. Grand Rapids: Youth Specialties, 2001. 18-19.<br />
    23. 23. Characteristics of modernityprogress & melioristic optimism<br />“[People of modernity] assumed that things would get better and better as humanity began to use its distinctive gift of reason to address, one by one, each of the social and political problems that it faced. Human potential was viewed as unlimited; hence, they assumed, it would only be a matter of time before humanity brings about the perfect, or virtually perfect, form of social organization.”1<br />Metanarrative of progress<br />1. Clayton, Philip. Transforming Christian Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010. 28.<br />
    24. 24. Characteristics of modernitycolonialism & differentiation<br />Conquest and control; hegemony<br />Differentiation: Breaking things down into smaller and smaller parts while ensuring there is no cross-contamination<br />Knowledge is reduced and classified into different disciplines (botany, zoology, chemistry, biology, sociology, etc.); Identities classified (“pluralization of lifeworlds”1)<br />1. Berger, Peter. The Homeless Mind. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974.<br />
    25. 25. What postmodernity is and isn’t<br />POST-modernity, then, is postfoundational, postcolonial, etc.<br />Post ≠ anti (most of the time)<br />Postmodernity is still contested. Suggested alternatives include high-, late-, hyper-, meta-, and reflexive-modernity (remember the paradigm diagram)<br />
    26. 26. Paradigm shifts, once again<br />“Kuhn’s designation of these paradigm shifts as revolutions is not hyperbolic. Paradigms fifer and are not simply variations on a common theme or developments of one. Changes in paradigms are therefore changes in worldviews. Newtonian mathematical physics is not really an advance over Aristotelian physics except as one defines ‘advance’ within the Newtonian paradigm. It would be like comparing apples and oranges since what each advances as scientific fact answers to very different questions and assumptions. Different paradigms are incommensurable, and if we insist on comparing them, we inevitably do so while standing within one. What separates Galileo from Aristotle, or Lavoisier from Priestly, is a transformation of vision; Kuhn suggests that these ‘men really see different things when looking at the same sorts of objects.’”<br />Allen, Diogenes and Eric Springsted. Philosophy for Understanding Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007. 216.<br />
    27. 27. Characteristics of postmodernity<br />
    28. 28. Characteristics of postmodernitypost-foundationalism & subjectivity<br />Recognition that objective truth is a thoroughly modern concept (foundationalism)<br />Hermeneutics (Ricouer, Gadamer, et al)<br />There is no longer a “prejudice against prejudice”<br />Subjectivity ≠ “anything goes”<br />
    29. 29.
    30. 30. Characteristics of postmodernityhyperreality & nihilsm<br />Life through the “1024 window”<br />8-18 yr. olds spend 7:38/day (53 hrs/wk) using entertainment media1<br />Baudrillard: “Where we think that information produces meaning, the opposite occurs.”<br />Dissolution of meaning & blurring of reality<br />1. Kaiser Family Foundation. Daily Media Use Among Children and Teens Up Dramatically from Five Years Ago. Kaiser Family Foundation, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 23 Jan. 2010.<br />
    31. 31. Slide provided by Andy Root, author of Relationships Unfiltered (2009)and The Promise of Despair (2010, forthcoming). <br />
    32. 32. Characteristics of postmodernityglobalization & pluralism<br /><ul><li>Caputo’s irreducible pluralism: “Voices and choices, races and places, cultures and religions” (and sexualities)
    33. 33. Erosion of modern (colonial) boundaries and intensification of global contacts
    34. 34. Fueled by information/mediaand consumer capitalism
    35. 35. ELCA homosexuality vote</li></li></ul><li>Toward a (re)new(ed) youth ministry<br />
    36. 36. The question<br />&quot;How can we develop, in respect of religious belief, [young] minds which are not only open to fresh insights but also equipped with the critical faculty that can distinguish sense from nonsense and reality from illusion?”1<br />That is, how can we prepare young disciples to engage their faith from within the postmodern paradigm? <br />1. Newbigin, Lesslie. Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995. 2.<br />
    37. 37. Avoiding the pale light<br />“Now anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity. It is the fruit of unanswered questions. But questions cannot go unanswered unless they first be asked. And there is a far worse anxiety, a far worse insecurity, which comes from being afraid to ask the right questions – because they might turn out to have no answer. One of the moral diseases we communicate to one another in society comes from huddling together in the pale light of an insufficient answer to a question we are afraid to ask.” – Thomas Merton<br />
    38. 38. Everyday Theologians<br />Encourage students to question and then affirm or reform our theological hooks, and as a result<br />embolden students to “raise God’s question mark over humanity and its kingdoms”<br /><ul><li>Students as “hermeneutic apprentices” and youth workers as “hermeneutic mentors”</li></li></ul><li>Find me online<br />Blog: JakeBouma.com<br />Twitter: @jakebouma<br />Facebook: facebook.com/jakebouma<br />

    ×