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Stringfellow on the Resurrection

“Christ’s resurrection is for men and for the whole of creation, including the principalities of this world. Through the encounters between Christ and the principalities and between Christ and death, the power of death is exhausted. The reign of death and, within that, the pretensions sovereignty over history of the principalities is brought to an end in Christ’s resurrection. He bears the fullness of their hostility toward him; he submits to their condemnation; he accepts their committal of himself to death, and in his resurrection he ends their power and the power they represent. Yet the end of the claims of the principalities to sovereignty is also the way in which these very claims are fulfilled in Christ himself. The claim of a nation, ideology, or other principality to rule history, though phony and futile, is at the same time an aspiration for salvation, a longing for the reality which does indeed rule history. In the same event in which the pretension of the principality is exposed and undone, how and in whom salvation is wrought and disclosed and demonstrated. In Christ the false lords of history, the principalities, are shown to be false; at the same time, in Christ the true Lord of history is made known. In Christ is both the end and fulfillment for all principalities, for all men, and for all things.”

– William Stringfellow, Free in Obedience (Euegene, OR: Cascade Books, 2006, 73)


  1. bruce hamill wrote:

    you are whetting my appetite for Stringfellow. This fulfilment of the powers which is simultaneously the exposure of their lie and therefore the end to their dominion… is it akin to the exposure of the way that what usually is called peace is really the hidden rule of violence? The undoing of pax romana is the exposure of its violence… Is he also saying that this false peace also includes within it a positive yearning for true peace, underlying the violently maintained social stability. My memory is vague, but I recall Stringfellow talking about a creaturely goodness in the powers.

    Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Permalink
  2. Matt Shafer wrote:

    This seems to be connected to the Christus Victor theory of atonement…

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

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