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Category Archives: William Stringfellow

To become and to be a Christian

To become and to be a Christian is not at all an escape from the world as it is, nor is it a wistful longing for a “better” world, nor a commitment to generous charity, nor fondness for “moral and spiritual values” (whatever that may mean), nor self- serving positive thoughts, nor persuasion to splendid […]

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 […]

The Hatred of the Cross

Dan posted one of my favorite Stringfellow quotes for Holy Week. It is utterly appropriate: “Many do not believe. Many men hate the Cross because it means a salvation not of their own choosing or making, but rather of God’s grace and his mercy. Men hate the Cross because it means a salvation which is […]

Quote of the Day: The Impotence of Revolution

Revolutionary sanctions of death cannot overcome the social purpose of death in any status quo. In any revolution, the means of death cannot transcend death, much less defeat or destroy death. At the most, it can alter the guise of death or make death appear more attractive. This remains the reality even though a revolution […]

Stringfellow on the Liturgy

“The liturgy, therefore, wherever it has substance in the Gospel, is a living, political event. The very example of salvation, it is the festival of life which foretells the fulfillment and maturity of all of life for all of time in this time. The liturgy is social action because it is the characteristic style of […]

Sentimentality, Blessing, and the Lordship of Christ

Stringfellow nails it in this one. I along with, I suspect, tons of the rest of us are implicated in this. Railing is easier than blessing, but its often the less subversive act. “The categories of popularity or progress or effectiveness or success are impertinent to the gospel. . . . ‘Bless those who persecute […]

Stringfellow, Death, and the Word

“In the face of death, live humanly. In the middle of chaos, celebrate the Word. Amidst babel, I repeat, speak the truth. Confront the noise and verbiage and falsehood of death with the truth and potency and efficacy of the Word of God. Know the Word, teach the Word, nurture the Word, do the Word, […]

A Week of Stringfellow

Over at Faith and Theology, Ben Myers is planning on doing a week’s worth of posts about the life and theology of William Stringfellow in light of a current discount being run by us at Wipf & Stock. This is sure to be a great week over there and you all should make sure to […]

Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Church’s Freedom

Stringfellow had this whole apocalyptic ecclesiology thing figured out a long time ago: “Christ shares the gift of Pentecost, and the Church is born in that sharing of the Holy Spirit. It is Christ, possessed of the Holy Spirit, who is triumphant in all his encounters with the powers of death, with all the principalities, […]

More Stringfellow on Poverty

There is a boy in the neighbourhood… whom I have defended in some of his troubles with the law. He used to stop in often on Saturday mornings to shave and wash up, after having spent the week on the streets. He has been addicted for a long time. His father threw him out three years […]

Stringfellow on Poverty

Poverty was my very first client in East Harlem—a father whose child died from being bitten by a rat. Poverty is a dope pusher who wanted to learn from me his rights if arrested because he knew that would sooner or later happen. Poverty is a widow on welfare whose landlord cuts the heat knowing […]

The Ethics of Witness

In his Free in Obedience, William Stringfellow takes up an absolutely vital point regarding the nature of Christian political ethics, what he terms “the ethic of witness”. The ethics of witness “means that the essential and consistent task of Christians is to expose the transience of death’s power in the world.” Herein lies the fundamental […]

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 […]

Reading William Stringfellow

I’ve appreciated Stringfellow’s work in An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land for as long as I can remember, but only recently have I started acquiring his works on a larger scale and devoting myself to reading them. Stringfellow, is, for my money the greatest lay-theologian to come out of the […]

Stringfellow on Vocation

Ben has posted a quotation from William Stringfellow that is just too good not to reproduce here. This reminds me of how much I love Stringfellow’s work and life story, and hopefully will impel me to take up reading him more regularly again. “I had elected then [in my early student years] to pursue no […]

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