Clashing Symbols: An Introduction to Faith and Culture

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Faith and Culture has become a field of crucial importance in recent years. Clashing Symbols breaks new ground in presenting a wide area of reflection on the relationship between faith and the powerful cultural contexts surrounding believers today. Michael Paul Gallagher introduces readers to the main insights, theories, and controversies being discussed by individuals and church bodies. Early chapters discuss the many meanings of culture, then specifically religious responses to culture, focusing on Vatican II and resolutions from the World Council of Churches. Themes concerning modernity and postmodernity are explored in detail, especially from a religious point of view. The final four chapters deal with more pastoral themes: the challenges of inculturation, discernment, youth ministry and the outlines of a spirituality for today's culture. Drawing on the work of some of the leading thinkers in the field, this clearly written work is a natural for specialists and academics. It will also be valuable for anyone who wishes to understand the increasing relevance of culture for theology and for religious commitment today. In addition, it will also help "ordinary" Christians to understand the realities and challenges of contemporary culture with wisdom, with confidence, and in the light of faith.