The Households of God and Local Households

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Revisiting the Domestic Church. Paperback.
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    In the growing body of theological and spiritual literature on the family over recent years there is hardly any publication that does not explicitly refer to the domestic church. In spite of this broad interest, however, the concept itself today still remains unclear. Where the model of the church in miniature is not used to further align the family with the hierarchical ecclesiastical institution, it simply serves as a pious metaphor to instil some spiritual dignity to the Christian household. Likewise, theological treatises insist that the church is not a family and so the domestic church has remained a marginal and exotic note in ecclesiology as well. One may wonder, however, whether small communities, as families are, have indeed so little to tell the new family of God to which Christ has called his disciples to belong. Can the churches afford to neglect the specific competences that families have when it comes to serving and sharing with each other, to dealing with differences and otherness of its members (be they related to gender, age, ethnicity, or religious conviction), and to encountering God in ordinary life with its everyday ties, duties and responsibilities? This volume is intended to critically revisit the notion of domestic church and to explore both its pitfalls and potential for the life of the churches and of families.