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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The Emerging Church: Hypermodern?
I keep running into conversations at The Ooze in which someone (yes, a different someone every time - I'm not trying to be coy here :) ) says something to the effect of: "The EC isn't postmodern, it's hypermodern."

To what degree do you think this is true? Does it depend on which EC one is in contact with?


posted by Lydia at 1:21 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 2/06/2007 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    Lydia, can you clarify what you mean by hypermodern?

    In my experience, I have been surprised by how many EC people have felt defensive about allegations from evangelicals and seem to be fairly modern in their thinking with a simple desire to be more faithful to a (still) modern reading of the whole bible, esp social justice issues are concerned. So based on my (tentative) understanding of the question, I think it just depends which "stream" brings you to EC conversations.

  • At 2/06/2007 02:26:00 PM, Blogger Lydia

    I've actually never heard a definition of that word.

    Given that "hyper" can mean either "excessive" or "allergic to" when paired with other words (hypersensitive,hyperventilate, hyperactivity, hypertension, etc) I would assume that that it could be translated to mean something like:

    The state of over-reacting to modernism in a negative manner (i.e. someone who recoils from anything that smacks of modernism)

    That is, hypermodernism could be seen as purely a reaction to the negative aspects of modern ways of church rather than as a new way of looking things altogether.

    Or something like that. I don't define the words, I just dance with them. :)

  • At 2/06/2007 02:33:00 PM, Blogger Makeesha

    I think part of any movement includes a reactionary stance. That's usually what ignites a movement to start in the first place. Why can't it be hypermodern in some areas but also post modern? Besides, defining post modern is like defining the EC anyway

  • At 2/06/2007 04:16:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    Makeesha, I agree. I think most movements are born from a sense that something is wrong, missing or out of balance. Often, the result is a pendulum swing in the opposite direction. With maturity, wisdom and grace, a movement (or person) hopefully comes to a place of integration that takes the best of tradition (or modernism) and lets go of the rest, embracing a new way of being/doing faith that is a proactive response rather than a knee-jerk reaction.

    I also think some of the comments may come from people who are just as reactionary in terms of defending certain aspects of modernism (for example perceived certainty)that they find threatening or potentially unfaithful to the gospel as the understand it, as postmodern/hypermodern people may be reactionary to aspects of modernism that they find stifling, hurtful or inauthentic.

  • At 2/06/2007 11:32:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    When I've heard the term "hypermodern" used, it usually is used to mean modernity in the present day, where modernity has grown into, the extremes it has become. I usually hear it used by people who are accusing postmoderns of having some modern tendencies or of using modern things (technology, philosophy,...)As in, if they do those things they are not postmodern. I think part of the issue arises in that a lot of people think that "post" is suppossed to mean "anti". Therefore if postmoderns are not utterly completely opposed to all things moderns they are hypocrites and cannot actually be postmodern. And if they cannot claim the label postmodern, then the whole system/philosophy must just be false and doesn't really exist. But "post" should merely imply "after". So postmodernism is after modernism. So yes it builds on modernism, uses the good things in modernism, critiques aspects of modernism, and evolves what needs to be evolved.

  • At 2/07/2007 07:25:00 AM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    Julie, that helps me understand use of the term better. Thanks :) Perhaps we need a "kinsey" scale for how postmodern-modern we all are in various areas of thought and life (and of course depending on the circumstance ;)

  • At 2/07/2007 02:46:00 PM, Anonymous linda


    i started a thread about this on the ooze in the faith forum. good question.

  • At 2/07/2007 03:24:00 PM, Blogger Lydia

    Great post, Julie.

  • At 2/07/2007 03:24:00 PM, Blogger Lydia

    And that might not be a bad idea, Jemila :))


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