Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, May 02, 2013

"Hope imagines the future ...

and then acts as if that future is irresistible."

From Thinking Anglicans, Lucy Winkett address to London WATCH ...

[...] I want to say unequivocally that justice is a theological issue. Fairness, the value much loved of politicians, is, to be frank, not so much, but justice is. This doesn’t mean “sameness” or “wanting to be included” or even, to borrow a phrase from the Northern Ireland peace process “power sharing”, although all of these motivations make an appearance of course.

Women bishops are the presenting issue at the moment but it is about much more than this; it is about the liturgical proclamation of a new future in the celebration of the eucharist. The just relationships rehearsed at the eucharist are nothing less than the foretaste of the heavenly banquet; the inauguration of the mysterious “basilea” , the kingdom, or new realm of God. This is highways and byways theology where all are welcome and each member of the body is able to fulfil their God given role in that body. The argument I’m making is that because of the incarnation, unless we believe in imitation rather than discipleship, there is theologically no category of humanity, based on ontology, that should be restricted in the way that women are currently in the Christian church.


The call of the new future is, in the end, an expression of deep and living hope, which is described by the American theologian Walter Wink in the most wonderful way and with which I end this address. This is why we must organise, and show up to meetings in the evening after a long day. This is why we have to encourage one another because the church, as we saw from the public reaction after the vote last year, is a signifier, a lightning conductor still in a secularised society, for the deep hopes implanted in humanity for a better and more just world.

Hope imagines the future and then acts as if that future is irresistible.

May it be so.


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