Tag Archives: communicative action

George Herbert Mead | Me and I

I’ve done a little more digging into George H. Mead. His work definitely connects with my MeWe principle. Two websites here and here have summarized his work. I haven’t yet delved into his work directly, although I have located it.

Mead, George Herbert, and Charles W. Morris. Mind, Self & Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist. Chicago, Ill.,: The University of Chicago press, 1934.

“We are,” Mead writes, “individuals born into a certain nationality, located at a certain spot geographically, with such and such family relations, and such and such political relations. All of these represent a certain situation which constitutes the ‘me’; but this necessarily involves a continued action of the organism toward the ‘me.’ Men are born into social structures they did not create, they live in an institutional and social order they never made, and they are constrained by the limitations of languages, codes, customs. and laws. All of these enter into the “me” as constituent elements, yet the “I” always reacts to preformed situations in a unique manner, “just as every monad in the Leibnizian universe mirrors that universe from a different point of view, and thus mirrors a different aspect or perspective of that universe.” To Mead, mind is “the individual importation of the social process,” but, at the same time, “the individual . . . is continually reacting back against . . . society.” The self as a whole, as it appears in social experience, is a compound of the stabilized reflections of the generalized other in the “me” and the incalculable spontaneity of the “I.” This is why the self as a whole is an open self. “If it did not have these two phases there could not be conscious responsibility, and there would be nothing novel in experience.” Mead valued personal autonomy, but he saw it emerging from feedback rather than from attempts at insulation from others. Human actors are inevitably enmeshed in a social world, but the mature self transforms this world even as it responds to it.1 read more

  1. http://www.bolenderinitiatives.com/sociology/george-herbert-mead-1863-1931/george-herbert-mead-i-and-me []

Book | Christopraxis by Edmund Arens

Christopraxis-Arens-Edmund-9780800627461Arens, Edmund. Christopraxis: A Theology of Action. 1st Fortress Press ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.

The Author

ArensEdmund Arens is a catholic theologian and professor of Fundamental Theology at the University of Luzern, Switzerland. Fundamental Theology is “a relatively recent theological discipline whose object and method has not altogether been clarified by theologians themselves. It is clear, however, that a task of fundamental theology is to verify the foundations of theology. Thus, before deepening in the knowledge of God, Christ, the Church or the sacraments, theology has to deepen into the dogma which is in turn the foundation of everything else: Revelation. Unlike apologetics, fundamental theology does not try to speak to unbelievers but contented itself with analyzing for the sake of believers how God brings human beings to assent to His word.”[1] Arens seeks to find a political theology with critical theory and works to provide a biblical foundation for the systematic theology, so that all of these disciplines can work together. read more

Catching the Wind: A Theological Theory of Strategic Action

A Term Paper Presented to Dr. Craig Van Gelder

Luther Seminary

As a Requirement in Course LD8910 The Hermeneutics of Leading in Mission

St. Paul, Minnesota



Theory of Strategic ActionThis essay presents my theory of strategic action. It explores how to lead a missional congregation through the process of decision-making and taking action in the world. I will communicate my theory by using the metaphor of a sailing vessel.1 The church is a sailing vessel that has been called to take a journey of exploration with God into this wonderful and turbulent world of postmodernity. read more

  1. I first encountered this metaphor when reading Leonard Sweet’s book Aqua Church in 2000.[Leonard I. Sweet, Aquachurch (Loveland, CO: Group Pub., 1999).] I use his basic metaphor, but I have modified it for my own purposes. []