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Performing Christ: The Theological Vocation of Lay People

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image of Ecclesiology

The development of secular institutions has led to the widespread assumption, even among Christians, that the Church is itself one more institution. There is to this a corresponding privatisation of piety and a depoliticization of the church and of the theologian. The church, however, is not primarily an institution. It is first of all the primordial fellowship of the body of Christ. Seen this way, a renewed emphasis is placed on the full distribution of ministries, in which every lay member bears a part. The church is ‘made to appear’ through the exercise of these roles within the body of Christ. This ‘labour’ is nothing less than the performance of Christ within the other social bodies to which Christians belong. This performance makes every Christian a theologian. The lay Christian is particularly well placed to exemplify a theology that is worked out in action and behaviour as well as words.

Affiliations: 1: Christ Church, Oxford OX1 1DP, UK. graham.ward@theology.ox.ac.uk

10.1163/17455316-00903004
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/content/journals/10.1163/17455316-00903004
2013-01-01
2016-12-08

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