Sunday, January 06, 2008

"A Return to Tradition"

The cover story of U.S. News & World Report this week is on A Return to Tradition. I think this section summarizes the article fairly well:
Something curious is happening in the wide world of faith, something that defies easy explanation or quantification. More substantial than a trend but less organized than a movement, it has to do more with how people practice their religion than with what they believe, though people caught up in this change often find that their beliefs are influenced, if not subtly altered, by the changes in their practice.

Put simply, the development is a return to tradition and orthodoxy, to past practices, observances, and customary ways of worshiping. But it is not simply a return to the past—at least not in all cases. Even while drawing on deep traditional resources, many participants are creating something new within the old forms. They are engaging in what Penn State sociologist of religion Roger Finke calls "innovative returns to tradition."

Among those quoted in the article are Daniel Wallace (NT professor at Dallas Theological Seminary) and Tony Jones (national coordinator of Emergent).