Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
The generation gap, as it is classically defined, maintains postures of ideological polarization between generational cohorts. In a congregational context, the pendulum of societal projection diagnoses obvious differences in generations as a means of dealing with systemic anxiety inhibiting differentiation.
The temptation of self-reactivity, destructively compensating for a lack of self- identity – through blame, shame, control, and escape/chaos – results in overgeneralization of the generation gap as a response to formational violations of love and trust, and a perpetuation of unresolved anxiety that leads to homeostasis of the generation gap. The family systems model frames generational research as a bifurcating tendency between the Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial cohorts as a way of identifying how the generational gap is a misplacement of anxiety.
Biblically, God initiates a process of creation, un-creation, and recreation individually and communally through reconciliation that begins with the foundations of creation, through the People of God, into the Gospels and New Testament as identity formation towards becoming a differentiated non-anxious presence.
The theology of table fellowship identifies Jesus as an embodiment of the dividing tension between cultural rejection (anti-symposium) and cultural assimilation (symposium) by remaining a differentiated non-anxious presence in postures toward reconciliation. Jesus invites convergent commensality—table fellowship that brings together varieties of people with differing ideals—demonstrating in each generational role postures for differentiated non-anxious dialogue that foster the reconciliation of generations within congregational context.
Proffitt, Daniel, "Convergent Commensality: Towards Generational Reconciliation Through Differentiated Table Felowship" (2016). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 138.