William Stringfellow, Part 4: The sanctification of this world

“Christ of the Breadlines,” Fritz Eichenberg (1953)

Continuing my series of excerpts from and reflections on Stringfellow’s An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land (1973).

Empirical and Nonempirical

Here is where William Stringfellow begins to hold our feet to the fire, we who are often proud “professors” of our religious traditions yet feeble “practitioners.” He challenges us with his special use of the term “empirical” as he applies biblical political ethics to present-day America.

For Stringfellow, “nonempirical” connotes belief

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William Stringfellow, Part 3: “The Demoralization of America”

: “War crimes (old crematorium at the former Dachau concentration camp)," by Ilias Bartolini on flickr

Autobiographical introduction

I began reading William Stringfellow’s An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land (1973) because, in the midst of our 21st century American horror story, I remembered how profoundly he changed my adolescent view of the world during “Race, War, and Poverty,” the Lutheran Youth Expo (now called ELCA Youth Gathering) at Lenoire Rhyne College in August of 1968.

My senior year of high school in Columbia, SC, had climaxed, not

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William Stringfellow, Part 2: “The Fall” as metaphor for American political reality

"We the People" text from the US Constitution

Last week I posted excerpts from the preface to William Stringfellow’s 1973 book, An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land.  Central to Stringfellow’s argument is his assertion that Americans are “grossly naive or remarkably misinformed” about the biblical concept of “the Fall.”

Christian ideology, in particular Protestant Christian ideology, has dominated the nation’s distorted self-image and consequent hurtful policies and culture from the beginning.  The churches project “too mean, too trivial, too narrow, too

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William Stringfellow, Part 1: Against interpreting the Bible for the convenience of America

The following is excerpted from the preface to An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land , by William Stringfellow (1973).


“My concern is to understand America biblically…. The task is to treat the nation within the tradition of biblical politics—to understand America biblically—not the other way around, not (to put it in an appropriately awkward way) to construe the Bible Americanly.

“Th"An Ethic for Christians and</a></p><a href=

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