Posts Tagged ‘ecclesiology’

One example of how Christians are meeting this call [to sustain forms of economy, community, and culture that recognize the universality of the individual person] is Church Supported Agriculture (CSA), which creates a direct link between family farmers and local congregations. Rather than limit their economic activism to demanding that the state intervene in the market, local churches are creating alternative kinds of economic spaces in which they resist the abstractions of globalization by face-to-face encounters between producers and consumers. In the CSA model, family farmers — most of whom farm organically and practice environmentally sustainable methods — sell their produce directly through local congregations. Parishioners either buy individual products or buy a share of a farmer’s produce at the beginning of the season, thus helping share in the risks of farming. The church serves as a drop-off point for produce and a place for farmers and parishioners to meet. In this space, they avoid the middleman and they personalize the food. Food no longer comes from some anonymous distant place; rather, it comes from another particular human being, and the consumer enters into a relationship with that producer. In this encounter, the person is seen as another self and another Christ, the universal in the particular. (87)

William Cavanaugh, Being Consumed

Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan has started a community-supported agriculture program. (New York Times, Sep 20, 2009)


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Because Christian love is based on the common relationship of all, without exception, it can know no barriers of caste, class, citizenship, religion, ideology, parenthood, or whatever. The basis of the new belonging and acceptability is the recognition and acceptance of the common fatherhood of God. Regardless of our too human relationships of acceptance or rejection, we are now interrelated through a third other who immediately opens new possibilities to bypass the normal acceptance-rejection dynamics of group or personal relationships…

Like any other human group, it will have easily recognizable features: the “language” of the group might best be summarized in the Our Father; the members are from all classes and all ethnic backgrounds; their lifestyle is best described in the life of radical love and forgiveness spelled out in the Sermon on the Mount; their most distinctive cultic rite is the festive and joyous banquet proclaiming the memory of their founder. By that which is most original to them – the newness and uniqueness of universal fellowship under God-Abba – they will shine forth and be a new light to all people and all social structures. This new light will be good news to some and judgment to others. (63-64)

Galilean Journey, The Mexican-American Promise, Virgilio Elizondo

The Calling of St Matthew, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1599)


The branch of theology that is concerned with the nature, constitution, and functions of a church.

[Latin ecclesia, from Greek εκκλησια from εκκλειν, to summon forth : εκ-, out; see, κλη-, to call.]

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