A Library of Stories

I'm reading a book entitled In the Beginning There Were Stories by William Bausch. The subtitle of the book is "Thoughts about the Oral Tradition of the Bible", and Bausch is making a case that to adequately understand the Scriptures they need to be seen as the written form of what were initially oral stories. One … Continue reading A Library of Stories

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Liturgy, Leadership, and Governance in the Church

...the church as sacrament is inseparable from its baptismal and Eucharistic practices, for the unity of the church is sacramentally realized in its communion with its Lord (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Therefore the principles of good worship are also the principles of life in the church more generally, since the nature of the church is manifested … Continue reading Liturgy, Leadership, and Governance in the Church

The Nature of Church

...the church is sacramental, mystical, Christological, and pneumatological before it is sociological or juridical. The unity of the church is not psychological, political, or a federation of the like-minded, but a sacramental and spiritual unity in Christ first established in baptism and then expressed, nourished, and brought to maturity in eucharistic communion. Susan K. Wood, … Continue reading The Nature of Church

Ten Principles of Religious Freedom

I am currently reading a book entitled Chalice of Liberty: Protecting Religious Freedom in Australia, which is essentially two essays, the first written by Frank Brennan and Michael Casey. Towards the end of that first essay, Brennan and Casey enumerate ten principles of religious freedom (pp. 49-53), which in the current public discourse are worthy of … Continue reading Ten Principles of Religious Freedom

The Responsibilities for Theology

...Ford (2000) posits three responsibilities for theology. In the first instance, theology has responsibilities to churches and religious communities, to help them better understand themselves and their place in the world. This aligns closely with the definition of theology we considered with Anselm earlier. Second, theology has responsibilities to the other academic disciplines: it must … Continue reading The Responsibilities for Theology

The Necessary Link Between Church and Theology

There can be little argument that some within the Church look at theologians with a certain degree of suspicion, as if the belief is that theologians, and particular theologians who are seen as being "liberal", are tasked with destroying the Church's faith rather than seeking to foster a greater understanding of that same faith. Writing … Continue reading The Necessary Link Between Church and Theology

In Search of Democratic Equality

...citizens of the Western democracies, and Americans in particular, no longer understand the concept of democracy itself. This, perhaps more than anything, has corroded the relationship between experts and citizens. The relationship between experts and citizens is not "democratic." All people are not, and can never be, equally talented or intelligent. Democratic societies, however, are … Continue reading In Search of Democratic Equality

The Loss of Institutional Memory

"Much is said about the dumbing-down of politics; the 24-hour news cycle; too much polling and poll-driven politics; the decline of community involvement in political organisations; the rise of the political professional; and the decline of “real-life” experience among our politicians. Without doubt, these all play a role. But elements that I think are regularly … Continue reading The Loss of Institutional Memory

Community Setting of Ordained Ministry

To understand the relational nature of priestly spirituality, we must remember that the presbyter is ordained to three interrelated roles in the community: shepherd, prophet, and priest. ... the glue which holds the three together is pastoral leadership. The presbyter acts, first of all, in persona Christi - in the person of Christ who is the … Continue reading Community Setting of Ordained Ministry