Ecclesial Solidarity in the Pauline Corpus - Hughes James T.Over the years there have been many treatments of Paul's theology that have focused on what the churches he wrote to were like, and what that might mean for today. However, what Paul says about relationships between churches has been frequently neglected, or only briefly considered. This book analyzes Paul's use of the word ""church"" as well as family imagery, holiness language, body imagery, and Paul's understanding of imitation and apostleship to demonstrate the breadth of his understanding of relationships between churches, of inter-church solidarity. Inter-church solidarity is shown to be integral to Paul's understanding of church from the earliest letters, and the book exposes a rich tapestry of relationships that should challenge and encourage the church in the twenty-first century.
""Too often we hear that the word 'church' in the New Testament simply means either the local congregation or the heavenly/universal realty and nothing in between! This however fails to come to terms with the connectionism and solidarity between New Testament churches. Paul displays a richer, deeper doctrine of the church. James Hughes shows us this brilliantly well. If you care about the Church of Jesus Christ this is a must read book! It will challenge and widen your horizons!""
--Wallace Benn, retired English Anglican Bishop
""Hughes examines the fascinating and neglected topic of how first-century churches related to each other. In the process, he unearths from the Pauline corpus much that is pertinent to issues in contemporary ecclesiology, as well as helping us better understand this significant relational aspect of life in the early churches.""
--Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society and a Lecturer in Church History at Union School of Theology.
""In an age when individualism prevails, it is no surprise that exploring the deep spiritual relationships and responsibilities between churches has often been neglected. James Hughes calls for a serious re-examination of the inter-church solidarity underlying Paul's theology of the church, and explores its counter-cultural challenge to the modern church. It will broaden your vision and challenge your assumptions about God's purpose for inter-church relationships.""
--Rob Munro, Chair of the Fellowship of Word and Spirit Conference
James T. Hughes is the vicar of St Alkmund's Church in Duffield, Derbyshire. He has been an ordained Anglican minster since 2003, and has also served in Chester and Guildford dioceses.