The “public” of a missiology of public life: Actors and opportunities

This article describes the “public” that we engage in mission and seeks to clarify “public” as a subject of missiological reflection and as a field of missional engagement. With what, exactly, are missiology and mission so engaged? “Public” is treated here in terms of actors and opportunities. The a...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Missiology
Main Author: Leffel, Gregory P.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Sage [2016]
[publisher not identified]
In: Missiology
Year: 2016, Volume: 44, Issue: 2, Pages: 167-179
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:This article describes the “public” that we engage in mission and seeks to clarify “public” as a subject of missiological reflection and as a field of missional engagement. With what, exactly, are missiology and mission so engaged? “Public” is treated here in terms of actors and opportunities. The argument is that “public” in its fullest sense consists of a space of social experience. Within this space individual and group actors take advantage of the opportunities open to them for self-expression and to pursue their interests in relation to each other, with the sum of their interactions adding up to create public life. The discussion offers a working definition of the term “public.” It then addresses several features of public life, including the construction of public life through social interaction; the role of social structures and cultural systems in shaping the context of such interaction; and the ways in which actors exploit the opportunities open to them to form identities and advance their interests to create change. The picture we isolate through this “public frame” is the unfolding interaction through which public actors pursue their interests, mobilize their resources, and create new identities, solidarities, sensibilities, and forms of relationships—the living, emerging public context with which mission engages and seeks relevance.
ISSN:2051-3623
Contains:Enthalten in: Missiology
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1177/0091829616634124