Symphonia in the secular: an ecclesiology for the Narthex
Dunn, David James
This dissertation argues that the “postliberal” ecclesiologies of John Milbank and Stanley Hauerwas fail to account for Christian implication in the secular in part because they collapse the kingdom of God into the visible church. Inferring that an alternative lies in locating the kingdom both in church and society, it proposes that the Byzantine ideal of symphonia, which seeks to balance church and state under the revelation of the kingdom, presents a framework for a more consistent account of the intersections between church and secular. I conclude that formal societal refusal of the divine is inconsequential to a church that understands the Word to be the driving force of human cultural development on its way toward the kingdom of God. Even this present secular moment can be potentially revelatory, a perspective that not only warrants but even mandates creative ecclesial engagement with the secular insofar as it conforms to the revelation of the Word incarnate in Jesus.