Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2010

Publication Details

Patrick, A. (2010). Contextualising Recent Tensions in Seventh-day Adventism: “A Constant Process of Struggle and Rebirth”? Journal of Religious History, 34(3), 272-288.

Abstract

Between 1844 and 1863, fragments of disappointed Millerism developed the landmark ideas, the denominational name and the basic structure of what is now the Seventh-day Adventist Church with fifteen million members in 201 countries. This article contextualises the struggle of recent decades between continuity and change in Adventist teaching, suggesting that a score of doctoral theses/dissertations and other studies offer a coherence that is deeply disturbing for some believers, insufficient for some others, but satisfying for many. The demands in Western culture for faith to be aped by evidence and to offer existential meaning have elicited three stances in relation to traditional Adventist thought: reversion, alienation and transformation. While the consequent tensions may be viewed as evidence of "growth, vitality and increased understanding," they also constitute an urgent call for effective internal and external dialogue.

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