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Framväxten av en postmodern kyrkomodell?: Ralph W. Neighbour Jr. och The Cell Group Church
Linköping University, Department of Religion and Culture. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2007 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This licentiate thesis is written at the multi-disciplinary research school Identity and Pluralism−and also within the subject of Church History−at the Department of Culture and Communication, University of Linkoping, Sweden.

In the thesis the rise of the Cell Group Church is explained. Further the Cell Group Church is analyzed with help of questions regarding identity and pluralism. The author conceives a basis of identity, an approach to define cell-structured churches. This basis can in turn constitute a premise for continued research. Furthermore adequate criteria to evaluate the movement are put forth.

The dissertation poses three main questions. How was the Cell Group Church formed? Is it possible to identify the Cell Group Church with help of identity markers? What criteria are appropriate to use for an evaluation of the Cell Group Church?

The concept of the Cell Group Church was coined by Dr. Ralph W. Neighbour and it is he and his book ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ which are the eye-catchers in this thesis. In what way might Neighbour’s own personal development have affected the design? The intention is not to make a psychological study of Neighbour’s persona, but to weigh in some decisive events that are found in Neighbour’s own biography and that might have affected the design of the Cell Group Church. But influence also has occurred from the outside. What has happened when the Cell Group Church has met the congregations of reality in Korea, Singapore, The Ivory Coast and Columbia? What has Neighbour modified and what in the Cell Group Church has endured? Within the given frame, 1965-2006, there has been an interaction going on between Neighbour and his personal development on the one side and his encounters with reality on the other. In this tension a process of reform is growing. The author will highlight what is lasting in this process, what stands for continuity, and what means a change of identity. The method is to begin with historically descriptive but devolves into being analytical.

This thesis contributes to the basic research in the field of the Cell Group Church. The movement of the Cell Church is a part of a forceful global course of events within Christianity. There are historians of religion and sociologists of religion who mean that a new kind of Christianity is forming in our times. The manner in which the Cell Group Church relates to its contemporary period is interesting both from international as well as Swedish conditions. Is the Cell Group Church an alternative that will replace the churches of old? Can the Cell Group Church contribute to the survival of the churches of old?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2007. , 290 p.
Linköping Studies in Identity and Pluralism, ISSN 1651-8993 (print), 1651-9000 (online) ; 5
Keyword [en]
Cell Church, Ralph W. Neighbour, TOUCH, Celler, Postmodern kyrkomodell
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-9687ISBN: 978-91-85715-08-4OAI: diva2:24092
2007-01-10, 00:00 (English)
Available from: 2007-08-27 Created: 2007-08-27 Last updated: 2015-03-11

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