Welcome to this blog to discuss questions of Communion, Difference, Hospitality, and Reconciliation as they relate to a Theology of the Church (Ecclesiology). I am exploring some of these questions in a thesis at Virginia Theological Seminary, an Episcopal Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. Periodically, I will post ideas, questions, thoughts and I welcome any and all comments in response to them. What follows below is a bit from my thesis proposal:
My working hypothesis is that the Church is called to welcome with hospitality and reverence all those who might be termed other, in order to respond to God’s high calling of the Church. When the Church loses its essential theological grounding the Church exists in a risky position, and can become merely another social or political entity. When churches solely reminisce about the world and will not live into the reign of God, we run the risk of losing ecclesial identity. In serving God, and existing under judgment from God, the Church is called to see the world as God might see it—in fullness, diversity and unity. When churches are made as exclusive places (wherever they might exist on whatever spectrum), we are making some claims, perhaps implicitly, about God (and limiting God). In encompassing difference within our ecclesiology, we move closer to God’s vision for the church.
Just as the Church exists both with the Grace of God, and also exists in Judgment, my hypothesis is a working one, and a starting point and ‘exists under judgment’. Starting with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s understanding of ecclesiology, and then moving into Rowan Williams work, I will be challenged and my conclusions about an ecclesiology difference will become more clear and nuanced. Finally, engaging in conversation with James Cone and his quite different understanding of a theology of difference and liberation, I expect his work to help me to examine potential holes and problems with my work. Other challenges to my assumptions and those of my principal "conversation partners" will be explored as I progress through this thesis journey.
Thanks for visiting! Be sure to offer your comments!