The Open Body emerges from a conference held at Harvard Divinity School in April 2011. The essays in this book reflect on ecclesiology in the Anglican tradition, that is, they debate whether and how humans should gather as a "church" in the name of Christ. While the prompt for this collection of essays is the contemporary crisis in the Anglican Communion regarding homosexuality and church governance, this book provides a capacious re-interpretation and re-imagination of the central metaphor of Christian community, namely "the Body of Christ". By suggesting that the Body of Christ is "open", the authors are insisting that while the recent controversy within the Anglican Communion should prompt and even influence theological reflection on Christian community, it should not define or determine it. In other words, the controversy is regarded as an "opening" or an opportunity to imagine and to examine the past, present, and future of the Church, both of the Anglican Communion and of the entire Body of Christ. Some of the essays begin their reappraisal by looking backward and offering creative theological retrievals from the early Church; some essays offer fresh perspectives on the recent Anglican past and present; others examine the present ecclesiology from a comparative, interreligious perspective; and still others are keen to anticipate and influence the possible future(s) of the Body of Christ.
Zachary Guiliano is a doctoral candidate in medieval history at St. John's College (Cantab.) and a Gates Cambridge Scholar (2012-2015). He was recently Kellogg Fellow at the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard, where he was a regular lay preacher and catechist. His primary research focuses on patristic and early medieval biblical interpretation and preaching, but his interests range from contemporary biblical studies to Anglican history to medieval Latin paleography. He has published in the Encylopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, Studia Patristica, and The Living Church. He has also contributed articles to medieval manuscript exhibits at Harvard University. Charles M. Stang is Associate Professor of Early Christian Thought at Harvard Divinity School and a former Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow (2002-2005). His research and teaching focus on the history and theology of Christianity in late antiquity, especially Eastern varieties of Christianity. He is the author of Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite: "No Longer I", co-editor with Sarah Coakley of Rethinking Dionysius the Areopagite, and editor of The Waking Dream of T. E. Lawrence: Essays on His Life, Literature, and Legacy.
Contents: M. Thomas Shaw: Preface - Zachary Guiliano/Charles M. Stang: Introduction: The Open Body - Mark Jordan: Formation, Exile, and Encounter: Teaching. Traditions for an Open Body - Richard Valantasis: Episcopal Formation: Mystery, Incarnation, and a Theology of Difference - Robert Tobin: Exploring Trans-Atlantic Tensions within Contemporary Anglicanism - Christopher Ashley: Diversity and Episcopal Governance in Recent Anglican Constitutions - Benjamin J. King: Seeking Consensus within the Anglican Tradition: The Example of Charles Gore - Charles M. Stang: The Beginning and End of All Hierarchy - Cameron Partridge: Skandalon of Conjoinment: Anglican Ecclesial Embodiment - C. Denise Yarbrough: Radical Hospitality: Interreligious Dialogue as Christian Mission in the Twenty-First Century - Lawrence M. Wills: "Anglican Identity" and "Jewish Identity": Metaphors and Comparison Points - Marisa Egerstrom: The Advent of Occupy Wall Street and the Incarnational Emergency of the Episcopal Church - Elizabeth Anderson: "I Saw Your Soul in Your Letter": The Internet and the Cappadocian Understanding of Letter Writing - Jeffrey K. Bridges: How Does the Body of Christ Encounter the Body Politic? A Panel Discussion.