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How Change Happens

How Change Happens

Nathan Mladin explores how change happens for Comment Magazine. 16/02/2023

Much in the world today cries out for change—a plundered creation, systems of violence and exploitation, and a common life fractured and frayed. The status quo is rarely something to be celebrated; it’s something to be changed. But how does change happen? What are the conditions and catalysts of social and cultural change? And what is the general direction of travel? Does change bubble up from the grassroots or trickle down from the top? Does it begin in the centre or come from the margins? Or is it that all the above are true at different times? These are thorny questions for anyone feeling a holy discontent with the status quo.

What follows is an overview of four leading theories of social and cultural change that contain some answers to these questions. This is not an exhaustive list, but the four leading theorists I’ve chosen represent four ways in which change might happen. Together they create a nuanced and fulsome picture—a map of sorts that will benefit the “rebels” crossing the stale plains of the status quo in their quest for social and cultural flourishing. And whether it’s top down, bottom up, inside out, or outside in, how change happens should be of concern to a mission–minded people, commissioned not only to share the good news but also to make and shape life–giving culture.

Read the full article here.


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 Image by Comment Magazine

Nathan Mladin

Nathan Mladin

Nathan joined Theos in 2016. He holds a PhD in Systematic Theology from Queen’s University Belfast and is the author of several publications, including the Theos reports Data and Dignity: Why Privacy Matters in the Digital Age, Religious London: Faith in a Global City (with Paul Bickley), and ‘Forgive Us Our Debts’: lending and borrowing as if relationships matter (with Barbara Ridpath).

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Posted 16 February 2023


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