Church and Empire
Some months ago I was reading things about the emerging church movement being concerned about the abandoned places of empire. I wasn’t sure what the “abandoned places of empire” meant, and I’m still not sure what it means. But today I came across a blog post from a Mule in the chapter house that makes a lot more sense to me.
The Church is not the interior of the Empire, the Empire is the material expression of the Church. Man was created to live and move and have his being in this Empire/Church which was intended to mediate the life [energies?] of the Blessed Trinity to the whole of Creation.
Charles Williams saw, no, felt this acutely, and called it the “Web of Exchange”, “Co-inherence”, or simply “the City”, and intimated that it was intended to encompass the entirety of Creation. Indeed, we see that one of the gravest problems that we are facing is an ecological crisis, whereby the Web of Empire, that portion of the Web of Exchange which organizes the energies of men, is returning material to the Web of Physical Nature, that portion of the Web of Exchange whose interchanges and sacrifices we describe as chemical reactions, in a condition unusable by it. What men call “the economy” has its inputs from this other, more elementary Web, and its impact upon this Web is considerable, but the terms of Exchange have not hitherto been charitable.
That is a more or less random quote — there is so much thought-provoking stuff in that post that the best I can do is choose a random sample and recommend that you read the whole thing, then come back after a day or two and read it again.