This book seeks to dynamically alter the way that theologians, ecclesiologists, students of religion and ministers look at the church. Taking the ideas of composition, formation and vocation as basic ecclesial categories, Martyn Percy explores how apparently innocent and incidental material is in fact highly significant for the shaping of theological and ecclesiological horizons. The Introduction sets the tone, with a meditation on how the apparently ordinary scent of a country church can be redolent with meaning, setting the tone of expectation in relation to subsequent worship.
This book is not, however, simply about reading meanings into events, ideas, conversations and contexts. Rather, it sets out to faithfully interpret much of the material that surrounds us, yet is often taken for granted, or more usually unnoticed. The book is an invitation to involve the scholar or minister, paying close and patient attention to beliefs, language, artefacts, rituals, practices and other material - all of which are constitutive for ecclesial life and theological identity.