Lowell Streiker, a longtime expert on free church movements and cults, examines a vital and growing free church movement-an impressive movement that is yet largely unknown. Founded in Norway more than 90 years ago, it is a church without membership rolls, clergy, central administration, tithing, or even a name. Outsiders call them Smith's Friends after their founder, Johan Oscar Smith. On a worldwide basis, some 30,000 people participate in more than 200 churches in 50 countries.
As a phenomenologist of religion, Streiker attempts to be descriptive, analytic, and constructively critical. In order to set Smith's Friends in historical, social, and religious perspectives, he first examines their similarities to and differences from earlier Norwegian revival movements. He then provides a detailed phenomenological report on Smith's Friends, based on field study in America and Europe. He examines their worship, hymnody, theology, and their everyday way of life. As a friendly critic, Streiker entertains the hope that Smith's Friends will come out of their small-church shell and actively engage Christendom and the world. If they do, Streiker believes we would all be better impressed by the influence of this extremely positive force for spiritual renewal. Streiker's examination presents an important study for scholars of religion, sociologists, psychologists, historians, and the general public concerned with modern religious life.
Although few might think of Moses as a 'leader' in the contemporary business and political sense, Moses is not only among the most significant leaders in Western civilization but is also arguably the quintessential example of a powerful leader from whom much can be learned by anyone entering and occupying leadership positions. Various types of leadership approaches are considered that have been advocated by scholars over the past century. Moses' example as described in the Bible is analyzed to assert why Moses' approach makes for an appropriate and compelling form of leadership today. While present leadership and management vocabulary might differ from the Hebrew Bible, many of the notions advocated by modern leadership theorists appear to parallel major behaviors, traits, functions, experiences and actions ascribed to Moses, especially in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Anyone can view Moses through the lens of a particular religion, whether shared or not, and still learn considerably from the experience. One will find Moses depicted as heroic, charismatic, and certainly empathic. Yet, Moses also shows transactional, transformational and visionary leadership qualities. Hence, 'Religion and Contemporary Management' discerns why Moses represents such an important model of effective leadership for contemporary times.
Two powerful and interrelated transnational cultural expressions mark our epoch, Charismatic spirituality and global city. This book demonstrates how these two forces can be used to inform ethical design of cities and their common social lives to best support human flourishing, spirituality, and social and ecological wellbeing of their residents.
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