The Oxford Patristic Conference and the church order literature

It is now weeks to go until Oxford, and still I haven’t written my paper (which, btw, is on Ignatius of Antioch’s “docetic” opponents, and on Friday afternoon, by which time most people are too tired to care.)

The conference will kick off for me, however, on the Tuesday morning at nine sharp, as I am chairing the short communications on liturgy. I wonder whether I will get to ring the bell.

First into bat is Paul Bradshaw, the abstract of whose paper is below. He is wrestling with the very issues with which I am constantly wrestling, so I look forward very much to his most recent insights.

Paul Bradshaw: SC another look at the church order literature

In the late twentieth century it was debated whether the ancient church orders were comprehensive and descriptive or selective and polemic. This paper will argue that this is a false dichotomy. As ‘living literature’, the church orders need to be read as multiple layers of tradition and cannot be said to have one single purpose. At least in part their compilers and redactors were trying to preserve what they thought was ancient, and the results evolved into literary texts rather than manuals intended for practical use. However, their attempts either to maintain or to promote particular practices ultimately had rather limited effect.
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3 Comments

Filed under Church orders in genera(l)

3 responses to “The Oxford Patristic Conference and the church order literature

  1. Timothy B. Sailors

    Looking forward to this – and to seeing you again, Alistair!

    Like

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