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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.


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


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