IBTS Centre is pleased to announce the third successful PhD defense of 2021. On March 11, Mattias Neve from Sweden defended his thesis “In Pursuit of Proximity: A missiological study of four ‘emerging church’ communities in Sweden.” During his opening remarks Dr Neve explained that “ The ‘Emerging Church’ is an international grassroots phenomenon within evangelical Protestantism calling the church in the West to embrace innovation and experimentation by adopting new ecclesial forms, practices, and theological frameworks. The dissertation explores this phenomenon in Sweden and inquires in what ways these communities may contribute to shaping the church’s cross-cultural mission, action and reflection in contemporary Swedish society. … The research concludes that emerging churches can assist traditional churches in Sweden to reimagine their identity and reconfigure their organisational priorities in order to better align with their calling to be a missionary people in this world, by serving as incubators for innovation and experimentation as well as to critically address inherited ecclesiological, missiological, and theological frameworks.”
The five opponents commended Mattias for his contribution to the understanding of the emerging movement and he was duly conferred with the degree Doctor of Philosophy. We extend our warmest congratulations to Mattias and also to his supervisors, Stefan Paas, Andrew Kirk and Parush Parushev. Given the current pandemic the defense was conducted on Zoom.