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Preaching and the Theological Imagination

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Edited By Zachary Guiliano and Cameron Partridge

In an era in which The Episcopal Church and the Church of England have become increasingly alarmed about numerical decline, Christian proclamation has become more important than ever. To fully meet this challenge, Anglicans must reclaim a vocation to preach the good news with both deep theological grounding and imaginative dynamism. Crucial to this process is a sustained engagement with deepening the theological imagination of the whole Christian community, through renewed practices of, and approaches to, preaching, study, and spiritual development.
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8. Preaching in the Academy: From Cultured Despisers to Encultured Disclaimers.

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8. Preaching in the Academy: From Cultured Despisers to Encultured Disclaimers

Daniel Heischman

PAUL WAS a colleague of mine in the school where I was a chaplain. He was a member of the history department, a group of men who prided themselves on being the self-described renegades of the faculty. A semi-lapsed Roman Catholic, Paul was an avowed Marxist and he loved to shock his students with his political and social observations. When it came to chapel, Paul was unrelenting and merciless toward me. If we had a less than stellar preacher in chapel, Paul would greet me as I entered the faculty room after chapel with the bellowing question/statement heard over all other conversations, “Heischman, who was that bozo in chapel today?” You can imagine that after awhile I stopped going to the faculty lounge following chapel services. That did not stop Paul, of course. After almost every chapel service he would stop by my office to offer a cynical remark about what I had said in chapel or what the guest preacher had said. I remember one time, when I was talking about the importance and value of place in the life of the school, he poked his head into my office and began singing, “There’s a place for us.” To be sure, Paul felt like my nemesis. He was quick to offer the critical comment and played that perennial game of intellectual distancing that can pop up, now and then,...

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