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on_catechesis

At This Time, In This Place

By Michael Warren(1999, Trinity Press).

On page 131 Warren writes

“Catechesis has discrete activities for fostering an ever-maturing living faith. Some . . . have to do with preparing persons for 'next steps' . . . . Other activities encourage reflection on communal dilemmas facing discipleship . . . . While catechesis has standards of excellence, those standards measure not catechesis but the excellence of discipleship.

Discipleship is a practice . . . . found only partially in written texts about it but most fully in the flourishing practice of present-day practitioners . . . . The community of this practice celebrates all levels of this proficiency, with special recognition given the achievements of virtuoso practitioners . . .

Catechesis is not primarily activity toward mastering the theoretical concepts involved in its own catechetical activities; it is primarily about the practice of discipleship. The work of catechesis is reminding the community of the standards of excellence they have adopted and the kind of responsiveness those standards demand from those who are, or who are trying to become, practitioners. Catechesis provides reminders about conditions under which practice is diminished or enhanced or cautious. The eye of catechesis is on the community's practice; not its catechetical practice, but on the discipling practice to which catechesis points. Catechesis fosters the efforts of the community to maintain its standard of discipling practice. Catechesis is the coaching of practice. [Emphasis mine]

In recent centuries, catechesis has tended to lose its way, becoming a practice unto itself instead of pointing to the practice of discipleship. It has become an activity about ideas, giving the impression that correct understanding represents adequate practice, whereas in fact that understanding directs and redirects the actual practice. Consequently, communities engaged in 'churchly practices' have been able to remove themselves from preoccupation with discipleship itself.”

on_catechesis.txt · Last modified: 2010/01/01 22:28 (external edit)