Transforming congregational conflict : a change model for religious leaders

Type
Thesis
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Category
DMIN  [ Browse Items ]
Edition
English 
Publication Year
1992 
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Abstract
This Demonstration Project developed continuing education resources for religious leaders in the New York State Capital District to facilitate their ability to lower the volatility of congregational conflict and nonviolently to transform conflict in their congregations. The assumptions and commitment of the project: 1) a systems understanding of the congregation as a subsystem of our larger society and constituted by many subsystems within it, 2) the religious leader's role as nurturer of this system for mission and ministry, 3) the centrality of “root metaphors” in our understanding of the congregation and its conflicts, and 4) the assumption that lowering the level of violence in congregations will impact on the larger society and provide glimpses of true community. Three root metaphors have historically defined human interaction in society and congregations: the traditional organic metaphor (the congregation as a body), the modern mechanistic metaphor (the congregation as a machine), and the postmodern, artistic metaphor (the congregation as an artistic community). The project identifies the implications of each metaphor for an understanding of 1) time, 2) violence, 3) the role, authority and style of the religious leader, and 4) change as each relates to congregational conflict. The paper analyzes and notes the next steps for providing continuing education to religious leaders for ' transforming congregational conflict.  
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