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Suicidal Church, The
By Caroline Miley
Suicidal Church is a critical assessment of why the church is failing
to relate to contemporary society in Australia. Falling church
attendance is not a new trend but it is at odds with the increasing
interest in spirituality in western culture. So why is there a loss of
faith in the church?
Caroline Miley argues that it is not
religious belief that is the obstacle for many Christians, but the
culture of the church itself. The Anglican Church, like other
denominations in Australia, has become for many an empty museum of
arcane traditions - an outdated institution committed to mediocrity.
The great sadness is its failure to preach the gospel authentically,
and its betrayal of a vibrant Christianity that should brim with energy
and embrace diverse human experiences. Far from a life-affirming space,
the Anglican Church has become a hide-away where frightened people can
avoid the passion and imperfection of living.
examines the current failings of the church and its culture of
timidity, fear, racism, sexism and homophobia that now cripples the
institution. For the church to be relevant in the twenty-first century
it must undergo large-scale, radical and painful change. The Suicidal
Church provides ideas and a program for revitalisation.
Suicidal Church does not seek to demolish religion or destroy the
church, but to shake it back to life. Caroline Miley's book is based on
her Anglican experience, but it will resonate widely with Christians of
all denominations. It is essential reading for all who care about the
future of Christianity.
Caroline Miley is a practising
Christian, an academic art historian and a curator. She holds degrees
in law and arts, and has a PhD from Latrobe University. She is part-way
through a degree in theology.