People are moving to the margins of the Catholic Church. As one dialogue partner states, ""I left the Church to beat the rush."" Yet, another remarks, ""I just wonder. I have to ask, who's on the margins? I'm not sure."" Let Your Voice Be Heard details original practical theology research that endeavors to understand the dynamics on the margins of the Roman Catholic Church in dialogue with fifty dialogue partners from across the United States. Practical theology, the theology of marginality of Jung Young Lee, reciprocal ethnography, and the communication theory of Mikhail Bakhtin join in a cross-disciplinary dialogue.
In conversation with dialogue partners, Joan Hebert Reisinger seeks the reasons why Catholics over the age of twenty-one who were once active and involved in the Catholic Church find themselves on the margins of the Church and how they understand their own marginality. The dialogue partners speak of new ways of being Church emerging on the margins. This emerging Church is marked by inclusive relationships that include dialogue that does not seek agreement or consensus, a critical and thoughtful recalling of memories and narratives of the Catholic faith tradition, and appropriation of these in new and creative ways.
""Creating a rich theological dialogue rooted in cross-disciplinary inquiry, Reisinger makes room at the table for those who in the past have been overlooked and undervalued. In Let Your Voice Be Heard, we are challenged to rethink our perceptions of margin and center, discovering the creative potential situated in the diversity of voices at the margins of the church.""
--L. Juliana Claassens, Stellenbosch University
""If you pick up this book, be prepared to listen. When Joan Reisinger invites us to listen to Catholics at the margins, she means it. She lets us hear their voices, their longings, and their pain. But these voices are not outsiders looking in; they are wisdom-seekers forging new ground and space with faith that is both bold and hopeful.""
--Kathleen A. Cahalan, Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary
""This is an amazing book, learned and very wise. Catholic leaders talk today about 'the new evangelization.' I think they would be well advised to read this book to understand both the challenge and importance of this new evangelization for those who are so faithful, and yet find themselves at the church's margins. Such women and men may well evangelize us!""
--Stephen Bevans, Catholic Theological Union
""This is practical theology for the U.S. Catholic context, where the margins are an increasingly crowded and--as this book shows--theologically rich place.""
--Tom Beaudoin, Fordham University
About the Contributor(s):
Joan Hebert Reisinger combines a dual career as both a practical theologian and a speech language pathologist. Her primary research interests are in ecclesiology, particularly the study of those on the margins of the Church, and religious education.