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Greg Jones on Traditioned Innovation

On October 5th at the Duke 2009 Convocation & Pastors’ School, I listened to a workshop by Duke Divinity School Dean Greg Jones on "traditioned innovation." 

Update January 27, 2010: Duke Divinity School Press Release: 

Dean L. Gregory Jones to Become Senior University Advisor for International Strategy Jones will step down as dean of Duke Divinity School at the end of the current academic year; Professor Richard Hays to finish out Jones’ term.  

R. R. Reno writes in A 2009 Ranking of Graduate Programs in Theology, "Duke and Notre Dame remain at the top.  Indeed, they are stronger than ever, in large part because the longtime Dean of Duke Divinity School, L. Gregory Jones, and the longtime chair of the Notre Dame department of theology, John Cavadini, provide steady leadership."

I just thought I would share with you the resources Jones mentioned since it is fascinating to get a glimpse into what is on his mind. 

He mentioned a few leadership books that he has recently learned from.  But he later said they do not provide a completely satisfactory account of Christian leadership so he is exploring a concept he is calling "traditioned innovation."

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Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide by Cass R. Sunstein (Hardcover - May 13, 2009)

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The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World by Ronald A. Heifetz, Marty Linsky, and Alexander Grashow (Hardcover - May 18, 2009)

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Leading Minds: An Anatomy Of Leadership by Howard E. Gardner and Emma Laskin (Paperback - Jun 13, 1996)

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Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs by J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson, and Peter Economy (Hardcover - Mar 29, 2001)

(Dees teaches at Duke's Fuqua School of Business).  

Jones reflected briefly on these business books in an article at Duke Divinity's Faith & Leadership website.

‘The end’

Jones then explained that he was talking with Duke Divinity professor Kavin Rowe who has recently written:

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World Upside Down: Reading Acts in the Graeco-Roman Age by C. Kavin Rowe (Hardcover - Jun 29, 2009)

After talking with Jones, Rowe explored in four articles this idea of "traditioned innovation" at Duke Divinity's Faith & Leadership website. 

  1. Traditioned innovation: A biblical way of thinking
  2. Pentecost as traditioned innovation
  3. Navigating the differences in the Gospels
  4. The New Testament as an innovation of the Old

That was the basic flow of Jones's talk. 

However, Jones also mentioned in passing a number of other books as illustrations of various points.  

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Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul by Richard B. Hays (Paperback - Jan 27, 1993)

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Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics by Samuel Wells (Paperback - Sep 1, 2004)

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The Promise by Chaim Potok (Paperback - Nov 8, 2005)

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The Chosen by Chaim Potok (Mass Market Paperback - April 12, 1987)

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On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent by Gustavo Gutierrez (Paperback - Jun 1987)

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Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Robert Schnase (Paperback - May 1, 2007)

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Numbers (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by David Stubbs (Hardcover - Oct 1, 2009)

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The Art of Reading Scripture by Ellen F. Davis and Richard B. Hays (Paperback - Oct 2003)

He also mentioned:

the article Walk into the Bible


Jones has also written:

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Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry (Pulpit & Pew) by L. Gregory Jones and Kevin R. Armstrong (Paperback - Mar 30, 2006)

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The Scope of Our Art: The Vocation of the Theological Teacher by L. Gregory Jones and Stephanie Paulsell (Paperback - Oct 25, 2001)

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