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Title: Illumined by the Word and Strengthened by the Praying Community: A Chauvean Interpretation of the Revised Marriage Rites of the American Episcopal Church
Authors: Witherington, Timothy Derrick
Issue Date: 6-Apr-2016
Conference: Society for the Study of Theology, Annual Conference location:University of Durham
Abstract: Louis-Marie Chauvet has conceived of Christian identity in terms of a believer living within a triple nexus of interrelated elements, namely, Scripture, Sacrament, and Ethics. While the first two elements witness to the particularity of Christian doctrine and practices, Ethics occupies a dynamic position on the boundary between this particularity and irreducible otherness. In this paper we will be focusing on how the ethical encounter functions, particularly how a Christian’s ethical encounter with otherness could affect sacramental praxis. As a case study, we will examine the marriage rite of the American Episcopal Church which has been recently amended to extend to same sex couples. We will show how it was the encounter with the gay and lesbian other which was the impetus behind this development, and will further examine how this change in the lex orandi has and could further change the way we understand the lex credendi, especially surrounding questions of the body and sexuality. Following the insights of David Brown who has emphasized the sacramental nature of ordinary human experience, particularly embodied experience, this paper will show how this revised marriage rite has given a liturgical expression to the sacramentality of a form of embodied human experience which was long denigrated. We will ultimately show how our reading of Chauvet can help one to understand the development of a sacramental rite which is attentive to a form of otherness which has long been shunned, and also helps to recontextualize a theological tradition so as to give it added contemporary credibility
Publication status: accepted
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Research Unit Systematic Theology - miscellaneous

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