Anthony Chvala-Smith Publishes Article

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Faculty

October 11, 2019

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Theology and Scripture Anthony J. Chvala-Smith, PhD

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Theology and Scripture Anthony J. Chvala-Smith, PhD, recently published an article entitled, “Ecclesiological Bombshells: Schneebeck’s Body of Christ (1968), Landon & Smith’s For What Purpose Assembled? (1969), and the Unmaking and Remaking of a Denomination, Restoration Studies XX (Fall-Winter 2019): 103-121.” This article explores a critical moment in the theological evolution of Community of Christ. In the turbulent late 1960s, two theological texts “exploded like bombshells” on the little sectarian playground of the RLDS church. These books were Harold Schneebeck’s Body of Christ and Donald Landon and Robert Smiths For What Purpose Assembled. Shunning the tyranny of traditional beliefs about the church’s identity, these authors made ground-breaking contributions to a larger, courageous deconstruction of the RLDS church’s then-regnant self-understanding. Community of Christ’s contemporary identity as a worldwide, diverse ecumenically-engaged community devoted to peace and justice-making is indebted to many moments of creative disruption, but especially to the transforming vision articulated in these two books.

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