(Farnham: Ashgate, 2012) ix + 224 pp. isbn 978-1-4094-4119-9 (hbk). £55.00. isbn 978-1-4094-4120-5 (pbk). £19.99. This is the third of a trilogy of works on contemporary ecclesiology, and this closing volume of the series focuses on the relationship between church and society. The central notion of the ‘ecclesial canopy’ draws upon Peter Berger’s classic study, The Sacred Canopy (1966) in which he argues that religion serves as an over-arching but socially constructed web of meaning by which we make sense of the world. Transposed into an account of ecclesiology, this means that despite the long-standing decline of organized Christianity, Percy still sees a vital role for the institutional church as the guardian of vital narratives of truth and meaning which bind us together as a society. The ecclesial canopy thus represents a place of shelter, a ‘stretched social skin’, within which society can articulate and preserve its core values. For all its flaws, he argues, the church offers an inclusive and capacious space for public life – in its broadest sense – to flourish. The book is thus an attempt to set out what Percy calls a ‘spirituality of ecclesiology’; not so much an account of spiritual disciplines
Ecclesiology – Brill
Published: Jan 23, 2015
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