Who was William Stringfellow? Like most prophets, he was brilliant. But he was also, like most prophets, difficult, irascible, suspicious, contentious--and full of courage. He was a lawyer, a social activist, and a dedicated communicant of the Episcopal Church. He graduated from Harvard Law School in the 1950s but put aside the promise of a lucrative career and went to work in East Harlem, one of New York City's poorest neighborhoods. At the height of the Vietnam War, he took the Reverend Daniel Berrigan into his home and was indicted for harboring a fugitive. In the 1970s, while the Episcopal Church was struggling with such issues as the ordination of women and the funding of programs for minorities, he accused the ecclesiastical hierarchy of arrogance, duplicity, and lack of leadership.
Everything William Stringfellow said and did was grounded in his profound belief in the Incarnation and the Eschaton. He knew Jesus Christ to be the Word of God, who is in all things and who challenges the powers and principalities of this world, calling people and institutions to repentance and newness of life.
In Prophet of Justice, Prophet of Life editor Robert Boak Slocum has gathered a diverse group of clergy, legal scholars, and seminary faculty to produce this stimulating and provocative series of essays on the life and work of William Stringfellow.