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Ecclesiology as Narrative

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By focusing on how the transmission and reception of ecclesiologies are enshrined in narratives and in the conversation between narratives, this article argues that that there can be a retrieval and a re-articulation of classical ecclesiologies which surpass the mens auctoris of these narratives, leading to a higher synthesis and communion, with important ecumenical implications. The structure of this conversation of ecclesiological narratives is triangular, with narratives emerging from the laity, the theologians and the bishops offering correctives to each other. Each of these narratives can surpass its own hidden rootedness in possible structures of oppression by locating itself in a further triangular hermeneutical space defined by the the preferential option for the excluded, a contemplative search for the designs of God and a search for structures of greater inclusiveness. In this way an adequate ecclesiology may emerge whose temporal distance from classical ecclesiologies provides a potential productive ground of even deeper understanding.


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