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Theological Education’s Relational Mandate: Warrants, Risks and Limitations

Theme: Energising Community: Theological Education’s Relational Mandate: Warrants, Risks, and Limitations
Purpose: International Consultation for Theological Educators
Dates: 5-9 October  2009
Location: Sopron, Hungary
Full Program: C-09 Programme Booklet

Henri Blocher
Professor of Systematic Theology, Faculté Libre de Théologie Evangélique, Vaux-sur-Seine, France, President of the Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians

Title: Theological Education’s Relational Mandate: Warrants, Risks, and Limitations

Scripture reading: Romans 14:7-13,19

I tend to distrust “magic” words, with which many speakers and writers are wont to strew their discourse in order to show they are “in” – though there be little identifiable contents. “Relational” looks suspiciously like one of them. One cannot deny, at any rate, that it expresses a most general concept and as such a most abstract one. Abstraction is even more glaring when one glorifies, as F. LeRon Shults does, the “turn to relationality.”1 With characteristic irony, Søren Kierkegaard proved he could match Hegelian abstraction when he famously defined the self: “a relation that relates itself to its own self, or it is that in the relation which accounts for it that the relation relates itself to its own self; the self is not the relation but consists in the fact that the relation relates itself to its own self.”2 We need abstractions, but maybe, not too many of them… I nevertheless accepted the assignment to explore the warrants, risks, and limitations of the relational emphasis in theological education out of trust in the ICETE leaders, and when I received the preparatory documents, I found such a balance in the guidelines that I felt my trusting decision had been fully warranted, without limitations!

To read the full document, click here.

Materials from the C-09 session are also available on the TheologicalEducation.net website. You will find the presentations under the ICETE / 2009 Sopron, Hungary link.

Each presentation is listed as a separate article. The article itself only includes a brief description of who presented the session and when. The actual presentation materials are included as links at the bottom of the article. This is also where videos will be posted as they are available. Please note that all ICETE materials are provided for your personal use. Please do not copy or distribute without permission from the original presenter. Contact information is included in each article.