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Healing Broken Bodies: The Missional Ecclesiology Behind J. H. Oldham's Middle Axioms

William J. Danaher, Jr.

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This essay explores J. H. Oldham’s development of the middle axiom approach, in particular the missional ecclesiology that framed it, found in the publications he developed for the Oxford Conference in 1937 on “Church, Community, and State.” With this framing ecclesiology established, it becomes clear that Oldham’s approach better accommodates criticisms of middle axioms that have arisen in ecumenical and Anglican social ethics. Further, it becomes possible to distinguish Oldham’s middle axiom approach from that of later practitioners, in particular William Temple and Ronald Preston. Finally, the modifications required for a retrieval of Oldham’s approach in contemporary social ethics are considered.

 
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