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A History of Decision-Making in the Church


  • Date Published: September 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107448711

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About the Authors
  • Conciliarism is one of the oldest and most essential means of decision-making in the history of the Christian church. Indeed, as a leading Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann states, 'Before we understand the place and the function of the council in the church, we must, therefore, see the church herself as a council.' Paul Valliere tells the story of councils and conciliar decision-making in the Christian church from earliest times to the present. Drawing extensively upon the scholarship on conciliarism which has appeared in the last half-century, Valliere brings a broad ecumenical perspective to the study and shows how the conciliar tradition of the Christian past can serve as a resource for resolving conflicts in the church today. The book presents a conciliarism which involves historical legacy, but which leads us forward, not backward, and which keeps the church's collective eyes on the prize - the eschatological kingdom of God.

    • Provides a comprehensive overview of the history of councils and conciliar decision-making in the Christian church
    • Presents conciliarism within a broad ecumenical perspective, paying attention to all major streams of the Christian tradition
    • Includes analysis of the contemporary Anglican crisis, offering Anglicans and other Christians a better understanding of conflict-resolution in the church
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… fascinating …' Church Times

    'Valliere has written a wise and distinguished book that deserves to be pondered by all concerned for the unity and integrity of the Church and of Anglicanism in particular. It is marked by a clear and robust style, elegantly and often epigrammatically phrased.' Journal of Anglican Studies

    'I cannot think of a more valuable book in recent scholarship that combines theology and history with practical advice for church unity.' Reviews in Religion and Theology

    'Paul Valliere's impressive and engaging Conciliarism: A History of Decision-Making in the Church … should be read and seriously considered by anyone concerned with the problem of authority within Anglicanism.' The Living Church

    'How to create legitimacy at the universal level for a group of distinct autonomous churches will be a question high on the agenda of the next archbishop of Canterbury. The suggestions offered in this fascinating and often tantalizing book might feasibly offer him a degree of hope for the future.' Sewanee Theological Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107448711
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The conciliar testament
    2. The conciliar tradition
    3. The conciliar theory
    4. Conciliarism in Anglican experience
    5. The Pan-Anglican Council

  • Author

    Paul Valliere, Butler University, Indiana
    Paul Valliere is Professor of Religion and McGregor Professor in the Humanities at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the author of Holy War and Pentecostal Peace (1983), Change and Tradition in Russian Civilization (1995), Modern Russian Theology: Bukharev, Soloviev, Bulgakov (2000) and editor and translator of Finding God in a Tangled World: Thoughts and Parables (with Juris Rubenis and Maris Subacs, 2007).

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