Patterns of Polity | Varieties of Church Governance (Long)

Patterns of Polity | Varieties of Church Governance (Long)

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The Shape of Faith in Church Governance

An excellent primer on the spectrum of ways in which Christians organize their institutional life, Long's study of polity -- that is, methods of religious organization -- intends to enlighten the reader about the ways in which belief shapes personal and communal function. Patterns of Polity is a comparative examination of church governance by bishops, governance by elders, and governance by congregations across contemporary branches of Christianity.

Patterns of Polity does not defend the validity of any particular polity, but instead raises questions that are essential to all polities and to all communities:

  • How is power created and used?
  • In what ways are polities most likely to function well?
  • In what ways are polities susceptible to corruption and dysfunction?
  • How are conflicts adjudicated and finances handled?

About the Author

Edward LeRoy Long, Jr. served on the faculty at Union Seminary (New York) before becoming the James W. Pearsall Professor of Christian Ethics and Theology of Culture at Drew University. He authored many books, including Peace Thinking in a Warring World and Higher Education as a Moral Enterprise. 

Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN 978-0-8298-1444-6