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Priesthood for all Believers

Clericalism and How to Avoid It

Priesthood for all Believers

Clericalism and How to Avoid It

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334061021
Number of Pages: 192
Published: 31/03/2022
Width: 13.5 cm
Height: 21.6 cm

Clericalism is everywhere in the Christian life and perhaps not where you might expect. It elevates certain models, vocations, or ways of being Church in such a way as to diminish others. In Priesthood for all Believers, Fr Simon Cuff argues that a radical focus on the particularity of vocation and intentionality of living out vocation are central tools in the Church's tool box to stop clericalism in its tracks. Some attempts to be less clericalist by doing away with certain forms of ministry can, he suggests, encourage clericalism. One of the best ways to overcome clericalism is a more intentional focus on particular ministries and the particular ministry of the ordained.

Exploring these particular ministries afresh, grounded on Christ's priesthood and the importance of a diaconal commission to overcome processes of marginalisation, this book offers a vital perspective both for those preparing for ministry and those trying to make better sense of the ministry they already hold.

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

1. Christ’s Unlikely Priesthood 22

2. Clericalism and the Priesthood of All Believers 44

3. Clerics and Anti-clericalism 58

4. Worship and Priesthood 74

5. Priestliness of the Diaconate 93

6. Anti-clericalism and Anti-racism 109

Conclusion 123

Index of Scriptural References 143

Index of Names and Subjects 146

Simon Cuff

Fr Simon Cuff is a priest within the Church of England and currently Vicar of St. Peter de Beauvoir Town in the Diocese of London. He was formerly Lecturer in Theology at St Mellitus College, Fellow of the Centre for Theology and Community, and Contributing Editor to the S. Mary Magdalen School of Theology. He is a trustee of the refugee charity Migrants Organise and Vice Chair of a charity concerned with financial justice, the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility.

"Christ’s priesthood is surprising and unexpected: God calls those whom clericalism would overlook. Priests liberate others for their vital and particular vocations; deacons direct the church’s focus to the edges and ‘fold in’ those who are marginalised; bishops have oversight of the whole, ensuring the attention is always on Christ. This bishop rejoices in Simon Cuff’s refreshing vision of a healthy and anti-racist church, full of ‘broken and wobbly’ people, uniquely and equally called." -- Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London

"Fr Simon's book is a radical and persuasive approach to clericalism. His analyses are models of clarity, theologically scholarly and accessible. As a distinctive deacon myself, I welcome his rare and profound understanding of the diaconate with its powerful call to the margins, and its potential for challenging clericalism in the church." -- Gill Kimber, National Coordinator, Church of England Network of Distinctive Deacons 

"Fr Simon Cuff explains in urgent and clear language, how clericalism - the privileging of certain forms and expressions of vocation - undermines the health of the body of Christ and the integrity of its ministry. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the particular gifts the Church has been given, the barriers we must overcome to enable all people to serve as they are called to by God, and what is at risk if we fail to do so." -- Selina Stone, St Mellitus College, UK