Thursday, August 20, 2015

Passing on the Lore (re the Resurrection & Fr. Charles Caldwell)

For any culture to survive, it must pass on its traditions, its stories, and its learning or "lore."  So here is a bit of High Church lore, concerning an essential Christian doctrine.  One of my professors at seminary, the most influential on me by far, was Fr. Charles Caldwell.  (We called all our professors "Fr." at Nashotah.)  One of his professors, someone who also came and did some teaching at Nashotah House while I was there, was The Rev. Dr. Reginald Fuller.  I remember Fr. Caldwell telling me that one day in class, Dr. Fuller came in quite excited.  He then told the class why.  He had demonstrated, using perhaps the most skeptical method of biblical criticism, the method of Bultmann, that the bodily resurrection of Jesus must have belonged to the original kerygma, that is the original layer of proclamation of the gospel, upon which all of the Gospel texts are based.

This is important, because it means that the disciples, as far back as we can trace their teaching, truly believed that Jesus rose bodily from the dead, and that he was seen and touched.  This is important for us because it tells us that, so far as it can be known, the followers of Jesus really did believe in the bodily Resurrection, something some scholars still try to deny.  I understand that Fr. Fuller's findings were published a few years later.  (If someone has the reference, please share it.)

The Resurrection was part of the genuine lore of the early Church.  Fr. Fuller's discovery is part of the more recent lore of Anglicanism.  I am passing both on to you, as they were passed on to me, so that you may pass it on to others.  

Χριστός ἀνέστη!

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