Hope for (the Anglican) Communion: conclusion

Conclusion: Hope for Mutual Subjection in Christ around our Deepest Divisions

I repeat the question with which I opened this essay: How can one discern if homosexual practice on the part of a Christian disciple or believer can be faithful to God apart from deep, empathetic, listening-and-responding communion and relational interaction with fellow members of the body of Christ, including with those who are homosexual? This question, which, in analogy to the 16th century Protestant Reformation, might be thought of as the material cause or issue of the current Anglican crisis, is potentially more explosive and divisive than the issues in the recent past concerning women above.

Is the ontological nature of Episcopal Church personal, or individualistic? Which answer better provides a healing alternative to the violent practice of nation-state politics currently destroying our world? Which answer better explains why and how the church should exercise the ministry of bishops? Which answer makes more sense of what we are doing in the Eucharist?

The Windsor process, including its report and its proposed covenant(s), is of course not perfect. However, rooted in the koinonia of the personal and communal God whose image or icon humanity and the church are, it provides not just the practical time and space and procedure for a deep and listening participation in each others’ lives, but it grounds such a life in ultimate ontological reality (mediated through scripture and ancient tradition) as well. And it does this, in concert with other texts discussed in this paper, in a way which has implications which are potentially healing to both the human family of nations and the universal Church of the Triune God. In so doing it shows that preserving and deepening the unity of the church demands that we name and live into our true personhood in listening, mutually submissive covenant with each other.

Works Cited

The Anglican Consultative Council. The Church of the Triune God: The Cypress Agreed Statement of the International Commission for Anglican – Orthodox Theological Dialogue (London: the Anglican Communion Office, 2006).

The Anglican Consultative Council. Report of the Second Meeting of the Covenant Design Group (London: the Anglican Communion Office, 2008).

The Anglican Consultative Council. The Virginia Report: The Report of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission (London: the Anglican Communion Office, 1997).

The Anglican Consultative Council. The Windsor Report (London: the Anglican Communion Office, 2004).

Cavanaugh, William. Theopolitical Imagination (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2002).

Chauvet. Louis-Marie. The Sacraments (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1997).

Hays, Richard. The Moral Vision of the New Testament. (New York: Harper Collins, 1996).

MacIntyre, Alisdair. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, 3rd ed. (Notre Dame: Notre Dame P., 2007).

MacIntyre, Alisdair. A Short History of Ethics (New York: MacMillan, 1966).

Marion, Jean-Luc. God Without Being (Chicago, U. Chicago P., 1991).

Pickstock, Catherine. After Writing: on the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998).

Radner, Ephraim. Hope Among the Fragments. (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2004).

Radner, Ephraim. “A Presentation to the House of Bishops on the Proposed Anglican Covenant” (online at www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_83881_ENG_HTM.htm).

Turner, Philip. “A Comment on the St. Andrew’s Draft of the Anglican Covenant” (online at http://covenant-communion.com/?p=708).

Yannaras, Christos. On the Absence and Unknowability of God (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2007).

Zizioulas, John. Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and Communion (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1985).

Go to the Introduction, Part I, or Part II of this essay.

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