Port Macquarie intensive to explore discipleship

Port Macquarie intensive to explore discipleship

What does it mean to understand discipleship as following after Christ? What does it mean that we are called by Christ to discipleship? What role does suffering play in preparing and forming us as disciples?

What it means to be disciples will be the focus of the next United Theological College (UTC) intensive at Port Macquarie.

The intensive subject will be called ‘Suffering Christ’s Call: Christian Discipleship and the Way of the Cross.’ It will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm from Monday 20 to Friday 24 January. 

UTC intensives are short, five day courses.  These are an intense learning period of a subject which allows students to enjoy face to face teaching, with a selection of assignments to be completed after the course.

The intensive will give particular attention to the claim that Christian discipleship always entails suffering, ‘taking up one’s cross’ (Mark 8:34).
Dr Michael Mawson, Senior Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at UTC, will run the intensive, which will be available to UTC students as well as those wanting to audit the course.

The subject will draw on the writings of Julian of Norwich, Luther, Bonhoeffer, William Stringfellow, M. Shawn Copeland, and others.

“Most of these thinkers and texts are ones that I’ve found useful in my own life and engagements over the years,” Dr Mawson said.

“I have included thinkers and texts that have helped sustain me in times of crisis, and have helped me to understand and attend to others in richer and deeper ways. I’ve also tried to select a variety of voices, ones that provide different and even conflicting perspectives and insights into discipleship and suffering.”

The subject will be a mix of lecture and discussion. Attendees will grapple with some of the rich and diverse theological reflection on what it means to be Christian and how we are to negotiate suffering, whether our own or that of others.

Dr Mawson originally hails from Aotearoa New Zealand. He is the author of Christ Existing as Community: Bonhoeffer’s Ecclesiology (2018) and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2019).  He has interests in disability theology, critical theory and postcolonial theology. He is currently writing a book on theology and ageing.

To register, contact Joanne Stokes.  Those interested can also contact Dr Mawson directly.

Suffering Christ’s Call: Christian Discipleship and the Way of the Cross’ will run at Port Macquarie Uniting Church from 9.30am to 4.30pm from Monday 20 to Friday 24 January 2019. 

Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor


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