Kenosis and Priesthood

Towards a Protestant Re-Evaluation of the Ordained Ministry

By T. D. Herbert

Foreword by Graham Ward

Kenosis and Priesthood

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  • ISBN: 9781606084731
  • Pages: 322
  • Publication Date: 2/16/2009
  • Retail Price: $40.00
Web Price: $32.00
Web Price: $32.00

Kenosis and Priesthood

Towards a Protestant Re-Evaluation of the Ordained Ministry

By T. D. Herbert

Foreword by Graham Ward

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781606084731
  • Pages: 322
  • Publication Date: 2/16/2009
  • Retail Price: $40.00
Web Price: $32.00

About-

The thesis of this book is that it is possible to re-imagine priesthood so that it becomes a useful way to understand the nature and importance of the ordained ministry, but without undervaluing or negating the priesthood of all believers. Such a re-imagining might offer a new way forward in the area of ecumenical debate. In the past, the priesthood of the ordained has proved to be thoroughly problematic, not least for ecumenical debate. As a result, both the Anglican-Methodist Reunion Scheme (1968) and the Covenant Proposals (1982) floundered upon the question of orders. Instead of rehearsing the traditional and now rather cliched arguments by approaching priesthood through an exploration of the kenotic and Trinitarian theologies of Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar and Jurgen Moltmann and Scriptures--notably the Epistle to the Philippians--it is possible to develop a new understanding. In this work, kenosis is understood as the Trinitarian revelation of God's saving act for humanity. Instead of trying to depict priesthood in naively realistic terms, but drawing in particular on the critically realistic dialectic of Barth's theology, and demonstrating that the Bible presents priesthood dialectically, it is possible to argue that the priesthood of the ordained is essentially missionary. It is called to represent not simply the presence of God among humanity, nor to represent humanity to God, but to proclaim God's gracious saving act in Jesus Christ and so call people to respond gratefully by living Christian lives in the face of the world. At the Eucharist, therefore, the priest is not the one who has the specific power to consecrate, but the one who leads the congregation in publicly retelling and, therefore celebrating, God's saving act.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"This is a thought-provoking and highly stimulating study of priesthood and kenosis that will become an important resource for thinking through models of Christian ministry in the twenty-first century."
--David Law is Reader in Christian Thought at The University of Manchester

"T. D. Herbert offers a passionate and detailed argument for why priesthood is an appropriate form of Christian ministry, and why such ministry is appropriately kenotic. The priest participates in the Trinitarian kenosis by which, without mixture or confusion, the divine becomes human. Drawing on narrative theology, Herbert contends for a critically realistic understanding of theological language, for analogy as alone appropriate to the mystery of God's condescension, Herbert gives us much to think about."
--Gerard Loughlin is Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham

"This book is a theological landmark in British Protestant theology. It is erudite, well-argued and, most of all, imaginative. What Herbert proposes is nothing short of a radical revising of notions of priesthood for Protestantism."
--Graham Ward is Professor of Contextual Theology at The University of Manchester

Contributors-

T. D. Herbert
Graham Ward

Bio(s)-

T. D. Herbert, who read Theology at Manchester University then trained for the ordained ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, was a curate in Macclesfield and a vicar in Winsford before taking up an appointment in Canterbury. In 1999 he was appointed Principal of the Carlisle and Blackburn Diocesan Training Insitute. His PhD in Systematic Theology at Manchester University forms the basis of his book. He is married and has two grown up children.

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