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Introducing reo online

Batch 1, 2018: Cross-pollination

… is like a bee, carrying pollen from one living plant to another.

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Family Resemblance

by Sam Curkpatrick

What counts as theology? How is theology different to philosophy? Or poetry? We might define theology as a discipline with its own vocabulary, sources and methods distinct from other disciplines. But such a rigid distinction would diminish possibilities for creativity beyond traditional patterns of thought.

We often define genres or disciplines by indicating their essentials: What is an action movie? (gripping!) Or a fairy tale? (always a happy ending). What would AFL be without its essential oval shaped ball? 

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s family resemblance model suggests an alternative approach to essential definitions. Instead of finding a common thread defining all theology, we could perceive a web of similarities and variations – like having your uncle’s bulbous nose, mother’s luscious lips and a smidge of your grandfather’s temper. Every iteration of theology is related, yet each is entirely unique.

This approach frees theology to engage widely with other modes of thinking and expression, like the arts, science, philosophy and psychology, a fertile ground for engaged Christian faith. reo seeks to promote creative theology that resembles this and that, enriching our understanding of the good news that intermingles with the rambunctious human family of culture, language and ideas.


Dr. Sam Curkpatrick is a tutor in theology at Stirling Theological College and is Partnership Coordinator (Vic Tas) for Australian Churches of Christ Global Mission Partners. 

WORDPLAY is a segment of reo open to submissions under 200 words, exploring words, metaphors or concepts that have enriched your understanding of Christian faith in a new way.



Justification and freedom: exploring luther's big idea

by Sue Maric

Last year marked the 500th anniversary of a historically seminal moment: Luther’s assertion of his 95 Theses in Wittenberg. In dialogue with significant Luther texts, minister at Thornbury Church of Christ and Stirling student, Sue Maric, reflects on the impact of Luther’s key revelation: of justification by faith, and its impact on the individual and the church, in expression as  freedom and responsibility.


upcoming Book excerpt: Kingdom communities

by Dr. Andrew Menzies

The following excerpt is from an upcoming book by Stirling Theological College Principal, Andrew Menzies. Co-written with past CEO of Churches of Christ Queensland, Dean Phelan, the book’s working title is 'Kingdom Communities'. Arguing that God is already at work in the community, the authors explore how resources might be aligned faithfully and fruitfully with that mission, particularly focusing on kingdom communities as a shape of effective response.

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DYnamic awareness ...

by Dr. Hery Susanto, with a response by Karen Yunia

Dr. Hery Susanto (Churches of Christ, Indonesia) explores the significance and nature of awareness of God in human experience. Karen Yunia, Stirling tutor and post-graduate researcher, offers a response to this exploration. 


Love of wisdom

by Dr. Stephen Curkpatrick

Stephen Curkpatrick is Lecturer in Christian Theology and Academic Dean at Stirling Theological College. This article reflects on the value of philosophy, the love of wisdom, for Christian faith, thought and practice.


© Stirling Theological College, 2018. ISSN (online): 2207-5860. ISSN-L: 1324-6623. This copyright material may be reproduced if acknowledgment is given, except where otherwise indicated. Editors: Sarah Bacaller and Sam Curkpatrick. Consulting Editor: Stephen Curkpatrick. Email: reo@stirling.edu.au