Began shifting gears back into pure concentration on the dissertation without all that paperwork hanging over my head. I realized that I really needed to work on "communion ecclesiology" more in my current chapter, because, in speaking of the Church in terms of "communion," that ecclesiology really tries to be as all-encompassing a theory of the Church as I've been thinking that an ecclesiology of charisms has the potential to be. So I'm reading in that direction right now, and looking in particular at the number of communion ecclesiologies that have been proposed, some of which seem to conflict with one another. It's obvious from mere observation, and has been since Paul wrote about the Church in the First Letter to the Corinthians, that the Church functions as what we today would call a unity-in-diversity. I'm wondering if communion ecclesiology, in making union (or "communion," in this case) its motif or theoretical basis, might set itself up for a problem as a theory of the Church. It seems to me a bit of a danger in trying to find a way to adequately describe the Church if we use a theoretical language that "automatically" looks at or casts matters in terms of unity: unity is more a result we see in the Church rather than a starting point, and I wonder if using communion language muddies the theoretical waters by inadvertently "assuming its conclusion" of unity. So I'm meditating on that in order to see whether the language of describing the Christian Church in terms of charisms might instead provided a more grounded theoretical language for the Church by more explicitly rooting its unity in its diverse peoples and their spiritual gifts.
I was up early today and was startled by the first light of dawn: the sky over the city was clear, but a great line of clouds were out east over Lake Michigan and the early light of the rising sun silhouetting them made the clouds look for all the world like a great range of mountains in the distance. It was like the last moments of sunset over the Tetons. I'll take the illusion: it was good to see mountains again after a few months.