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What Kind of Community is the Church?: The Richard Hooker Lectures 2005

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As our practical reason is healed in the resurrection life of Christ, there may be a community in which many agents act as one. Yet there is a difficulty in understanding the idea of a community of action; and in the first of these two Richard Hooker lectures I explore this difficulty, in pursuit of an answer to the question: Can the Church be a moral community? And can such a community be a forum in which questions are actually resolved? This takes us on to the question of the second lecture: Is the Church a community under authority ? The Church's form may be described in terms of a tension between an outer and an inner identity. How does the inner identity of the Church come to shape its outer forms? It does so through the acknowledgment of Scripture , which judges, corrects, criticizes the practices of the Church, and as the message heard in Scripture and the doctrine formed in reflection on it is taken into its practical reasoning.

Affiliations: 1: New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, Email:


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