Liturgy has lost its living roots in the soil of the world and become a pot-plant in the sanctuary of the Church, so claimed John ‘Honest to God’ Robinson 50 years ago. Now that claim is being repeated by Australian liturgist and religious naturalist Rex A. E. Hunt. In this eagerly awaited collection of reflective chapters and liturgical resources, Rex Hunt offers broad insights into the shaping of progressive liturgy and worship. Drawing on more than forty years of ordained ministry, he peels back some of the traditions behind Liturgy, Holy Communion, Baptism, the Lord’s Prayer, and Preaching, and suggests when these are and continue to be, reshaped and reconstructed by both progressive theology and critical biblical studies. Then he offers a wide collection of actual liturgies and liturgical resources. Progressive orthopraxy rather than traditional orthodoxy!
Many of the chapters in this collection of Australian and New Zealand religious Progressives were first presented as contributions to the internationally acclaimed Common Dreams Conference of Religious Progressives in Australia and New Zealand. The topics cover diverse subjects including: prayer, liturgy, Bible, eco-theology, the influence of J. A. T. Robinsons book, Honest to God, as well as progressive theological thought in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Authors include Val Webb, Lloyd Geering, Lorraine Parkinson, Aviva Kipen, John W. Smith, Noel Preston, Glynn Cardy, Jenny Te Paa Daniel, Rex Hunt, Sherene Hassan, Greg Jenks, Nigel Leaves, and Heather Carter. David Felten (USA) provides a Foreword and Bruce Sanguin (Canada) contributes an Afterword.
Why Weren’t We Told?, display an exciting blend of a faith that enjoys and in fact expects critical analysis yet strives to understand the sacred meaning of life. They are stories of people searching for wholeness of being which includes having an eye to the practical implications of everyday living while recognising that the source of a sacred presence defies description. These are courageous stories that are offered as an inspiration to others never to give up searching and asking questions about matters of faith.
The festival called Christmas is a celebration still under construction. It is a weaving of story, myth, custom and ritual. From its beginning, it has been debated, ignored, celebrated, banned and, from the mid 1800s, reinvented. In this exploration, Rex Hunt shares a brief story of the celebration of Christmas as a global and hybrid celebration; focuses on the Australian celebration of Christmas as expressed through such popular cultural events as (a) participation in Carols by Candlelight, (b) the sending and receiving of Christmas cards, and (c) the popularity and traditions around the red and ΓÇôwhite Santa Claus; and offers some of the suggestions and results from progressive biblical criticism of the birth narratives of Jesus/Yeshua of Nazareth and the resulting doctrines from those narratives.
A progressive Christianity is not new in Australia. In one form or another, it has been around for 170 years or so. What is new about its current expression – now called progressive – is that this open and inclusive faith is coming out or resurfacing in thousands of congregations in mainline churches in Australia and around the world as a dynamic grassroots movement. In this collection of sermons and brief history of liberal/progressive Christianity in Australia, religious naturalist, progressive liturgist and social ecologist, Rex A. E. Hunt introduces some of the heroes of the early and current progressive movements in Australia, outlines the story of this contemporary expression, and highlights some of its characteristics. All the time, his comments show the results of a progressive theology and biblical literacy that have shaped his sermons and communications between pulpit and pew. Drawing on more than forty years experience in and around the Australian and international progressive religious movements, this collection is an important resource for all those seeking a relevant faith beyond creed, set answers, and conservative neo-orthodoxy, which have shackled the church ever since the 1970s