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Preaching and the Theological Imagination


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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Luther Zeigler

THIS VOLUME OF essays and sermons arises out of a conference held one weekend during Eastertide in 2012 at Harvard Divinity School, the second such conference in what is now, happily, an annual tradition at HDS called the New England Anglican Studies Conference. These conferences seek to explore various aspects of the Christian life from a distinctly Anglican perspective, with a particular commitment to bringing a fresh theological vision to the subject of each gathering—in this case, “preaching and the theological imagination.”

One of the remarkable things about the New England Anglican Studies Conference is that it is entirely conceived, organized and administered by students. Faculty and chaplains provide support and guidance, to be sure, but it is the students of the Episcopal/Anglican Fellowship at HDS who, each year, thoughtfully select the theme of the conference and then devote countless hours to making the event happen. The passion of these theological students for renewing the Church through these annual events—and, as of this writing, there have been four consecutive conferences—is a compelling counterargument to those who see only decline in the life of the Church in the West.

Importantly, and in keeping with the spirit of Anglicanism, the topic for each year’s conference grows directly out of the worshipping life of the HDS Episcopal/Anglican Fellowship, which meets weekly during the academic term for celebration of the Eucharist and conversation over lunch. These conferences are thus more than...

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