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Stringfellow Discussion Group

As some of you know, I’m a big fan of William Stringfellow, as are a number of my publishing cohorts. Currently we publish all of Stringfellow’s works and we’re getting more and more secondary works on him in print as well. Anthony Dancer’s forthcoming book, An Alien in a Strange Land: Theology in the Life of William Stringfellow will be coming out in the next couple of months and will be a great addition to the line of works on and by Stringfellow.

Currently Myles Werntz is looking into putting together a discussion group on the work of Stringfellow, and more importantly, the directions his work suggests for those of us seeking to be theological engaged in the complexities of the contemporary world. Anyone interested in this imporant opportunity should email him.


  1. kim fabricius wrote:

    Interestingly, at ECUSA’s recent General Convention, Rowan Williams spoke of Stringfellow in glowing, reverential terms, as “one your own prophets, the greatest Episcopalian theologian and perhaps the greatest American theo­logian of the 20th century, … — not the least of the gifts which the Episcopal Church has given the rest of us.”

    Wise as a serpent? Innocent as a dove? Given the context of the occasion and the agenda of the GC, given that Stringfellow was a gay man who lived with his partner (even if celibately), and that he denounced the ecclesiastical authority of the Anglican Church for its hypocrisy and victimisation and scapegoating of homosexuals, what was the Archbishop thinking, doing?

    I raised the issue in a letter to the Church Times after its report of what Williams had said in its July 17th edition. The letter remains unpublished.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 5:40 am | Permalink
  2. Agreed. This is actually a step up from previous lauditory remarks where American was further modified by “Episcopal.” I assume it reflects the contradiction between his own closely held position and how he sees his role in the communion. At some point the gospel carries the day. Let it be said though, Stringfellow suffered his own, shall we say, paradox on this.
    I’m interested in the conversation. Someone forwarded the link. Glad to see it launch. I’m also connected with W&S by way of a book dedicated to Bill, functioning as a series editor and introductionist for several volumes of the works, and as a friend and collaborator with Anthony Dancer.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink
  3. mike d wrote:

    That’s interesting, Kim. I really appreciated ABC William’s reflection on TEC’s GC, even if I wish he was a bit clearer. I know Halden has argued otherwise (if memory serves correct) but I really do wish ABC William’s used more direct language with TEC. As much as I appreciated his response, I lean a bit more towards what Wright had to say in the Times Online.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  4. Halden wrote:

    I continue to respect RW and everything he has sought to do in leading the Anglican communion. Though, as TEC continues to harden the lines I grow more and more suspicious of them as a body. The issue really isn’t about homosexuality anymore, if it ever was. It’s about what a true spirit of catholicity looks like. Not seeing much true catholicity from TEC, that much is certain. There’s a very different politics at work there.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 8:34 am | Permalink
  5. Halden wrote:

    Sorry Bill, for some reason your comment got held up in he spam filter. Thanks for the comment.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  6. mike d wrote:

    Framing it in terms of catholicity is I think what Wright was trying to do in his piece. But I also think there are orthodoxy issues and they can’t be ignored.

    I’m pretty boots on the ground level on this; I was in the Ordination process within TEC before going ACNA. I have some *strong* worries about ACNA but I just couldn’t throw my lot in with TEC.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink
  7. Halden wrote:

    Wow, I don’t envy you going through that from the inside.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink
  8. tim kumfer wrote:

    I’m tentatively excited for this Stringfellow group, and hope to post some thoughts on reading stringfellow on my blog soon. Thanks for passing this along.

    To be frank, the desire for ‘catholicity’ in terms of the TEC and AC reminds me of those southern clergymen whose appeal for unity earned them perhaps the most famous reply in US social history: King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. What is a church body that deeply believes (at least 51%!)in LGBT inclusion at all levels of the church supposed to do? For too long people have been told to “wait, wait.”

    And when was the AC ever ‘catholic’? When everything was handed down from Cantebury along colonial power lines?

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink
  9. Hear hear tim!

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

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