The Evangelism Project
The second Decentering Practice that arises out of pyrotheology is The Evangelism Project. It involves taking a group to different religious, political, and cultural communities, not to evangelize, but to be evangelized. Each visit is made up of three elements (1) witnessing the activities of the group being visited, (2) conversation about the beliefs and practices of the group, (3) asking how the group looks to the community they are visiting.
The “good news” of The Evangelism Project is not that those involved will be converted by the group being visited but that, by seeing themselves through the others eyes, they might begin to see things in themselves that were previously repressed.
Like The Last Supper, The Evangelism Project is a practice designed to help us encounter someone who is alien to us so that we can experience the insight that we are alien to ourselves.
In The Evangelism Project participants are drawn into this experience because they are decentered by their encounter with difference. Thus, the transformation that takes place does not primarily occur as a result of a direct encounter with the beliefs of the other but via an encounter with the gaze of the other that brings us face to face with the strange nature of our own beliefs.
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