In 2013 and 2016 CWM Europe partnered with the Protestantse Kerk in the Netherlands and the Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut of the Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland to bring together thinkers and leaders from churches in Europe that are considering the future of Protestantisms in contemporary society. In Wittenberg we also worked together with the Evangelische Akademie.
If Protestantism is to find new relevance in our European contexts then we have to re-imagine and reform our understanding and practice as Protestants. The metaphors of “tent, temple and public square” help us to look at the dynamics of institution and movement to explore the contributions Protestantism(s) can make to our secular, postmodern and liquid societies.
The conference “Liminal Protestantism” was organized in April 2013 in Doorn in the Netherlands.
“Liminal Protestantism” seems an appropriate term to describe the position of Protestantism in Western Europe. Protestant Churches find themselves on a threshold, have lost positions of influence in European countries and need to find new structures and identities. Liminal also has to do with separation and marginality. At the margins there is the possibility to leave old customs and patterns for new ways of re-entering society. It is similar to leaving the old city of Jerusalem to visit the tomb outside the city, only to find the tomb is empty and discover the risen Christ. “
You can find the report of the conference and two of the keynote lectures here:
1) Dr. John P. Bradbury, Westminster College, Cambridge: “Liminal Protestantism. The Protestant Heritage: Structures and Culture” Bradbury Heritage paper
2) Dr.Harm Dane, Expertise Centrum Protestant Church in the Netherlands: “Local autonomy in a secularised society.” Local autonomy in a secularised society
3) Conference Report: “Liminal Protestantism – European Protestantism in times of change.” Liminal Protestantism Conference report
Re-imagining Protestantisms: Tent, Temple and Public Square
The conference “Re-imagining Protestantism” was organized in April 2016 in Wittenberg in Germany.
The Reformation was a movement that brought renewal and reform and calls its inheritors to continue that renewal and reform in their own time and context.
If Protestantism is to find new relevance in our ‘secular, postmodern and liquid’ European contexts then we have to re-imagine and reform our understanding and practice as Protestants. Drawing on metaphors of “tent, temple and public square” the consultation looked at the dynamics of institution and movement to explore the contributions Protestantism(s) can make to our societies. We discussed examples of renewal and fresh patterns of church that are taking place in different European countries to see what we can discover from their experiences.
Lectures and other contributions to the conference:
- Moynagh lecture
- Ball lecture
- Paas Lecture
- Kalsky lecture
- Bammel lecture
- van Hierden pioneering NL
- Moynagh Fresh Expressions UK
- Schendel EKD in GDR
- Bible study Franken
- Worship in Castle church Hawkins
- Stoppels reflections
- God will be al in all
The conferences Liminal Protestantism and Re-imagining Protestantisms were organized by:
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wegner, director of the Sozial Wissenschaftliches Institut of EKD
Rev. Wayne Hawkins
Dr. Harm Dane and Rev. Jac Franken
The conference Re-imagining Protestantisms was organized together with:
Rev. Friedrich Kramer, director of the Evg. Akademie Wittenberg