Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Intensification and Extensification - good ecclesiological words to know!

My friend and fellow priest, The Rev'd Nathan Humphrey, has a very helpful and insightful blog post today in which he explains a possible framework for understanding the rift that exists now in our Anglican Communion . He defines two terms, "intensification" and "extensification" and explains that one way we might understand this rift better (and some possible moves towards unity?) may be to examine the ways that various parts of our Communion pursue one or the other of these methods more energetically...

He says it all better than me, so check out his post HERE...

And here are a few snippits:

From "Communion in Conflict" blog...

"It struck me then that our American brand of Anglicanism in The Episcopal Church focuses on the "extensification" of Anglican identity through inclusion of the marginalized, through valuing tolerance and diversity.

Other brands of Anglicanism, however, value intensification--strengthening the bonds that already exist, not in an "exclusive" way, necessarily, but sometimes the net effect can feel or come across as pretty exclusive.

So it seems to me that, in part, the reaction to The Episcopal Church's efforts at extensification is an intensification that seems to some like a circling of the waggons, a turning inward in self-protection, while from the perspective of those doing the intensification, it is a matter of gaining clarity on one's core identity.

In short, extensification and intensification are two ways of "doing church," each with its own positive and negative aspects. My question is: can one intensify existing relationships while at the same time extensifying oneself in authentic ways so that new relationships are established?"


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