Preaching as Resonance: Critique, Hope and Sustainable Living in light of Rosa’s Theory


  • Marlene Ringgaard Lorensen University of Copenhagen



homiletics, preaching, resonance, authenticity, sustainability


Recent homiletical research has emphasized the intricate interaction between words, bodies and senses in the practice of preaching which can be difficult to explain in light of traditional approaches. In addition, many homileticians and preachers struggle to find ways of addressing the environmental crisis in a way that calls for hopeful response in spite of the dire environmental situation. In the following, I will analyze the homiletical potential of the theory of resonance as developed by the German sociologist Hartmut Rosa in order to address some of these challenges. Although his analyses are based on sociological critique of acceleration societies and modes of aggression, Rosa describes ecclesial, ritual practices as unique in their ability to cultivate ‘dispositional resonance’ in contemporary societies. The phenomenon of resonance involves three axes namely the vertical / intersubjective, diagonal/material as well as the horizontal / existential. In order to show the homiletical relevance of the theory it is discussed in relation to HyeRan Kim-Cragg’s postcolonial preaching, Marianne Gaarden’s empirical studies of listeners of preaching, as well as a contemporary sermon held by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm.

Author Biography

Marlene Ringgaard Lorensen, University of Copenhagen

Marlene Ringgaard Lorensen is Associate Professor and Vice Dean at the Faculty of Theology,
University of Copenhagen, Denmark.