Today, 18 August, is the remembrance of my man, William Porcher DuBose. I have spoken of him previously (my post of 26 Aug 2009), when I quoted these lovely words of his:
“Contraries do not necessarily contradict, nor need opposites always oppose. What we want is not to surrender or abolish our differences, but to unite and compose them. We need the truth of every variant opinion and the light from every opposite point of view. The least fragment is right in so far as it stands for a part of the truth.” (from The Gospel in the Gospels (New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1906, page ix).
William Porcher DuBose remains a pure representative of stained and incarnational Anglican theology for me. In particular, he was faithful, in a comprehensive way, to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, while also living authentically as a Southerner through the tragedy of the American Civil War.
He was, if you will, “entangled.” His lot in life was to live in several places at once. In fact, I believe that is the lot for all of us in life. We live in the Body of Christ, the Christian Church, which nurtures and challenges and informs us in the catholic faith. But we also live as human beings in our space and time, in a particular culture during a particular generation. It is absurd to consider any of us apart from our culture and generation.
William Porcer DuBose was able to use his entanglement to forge an incarnational theology that was revelatory both for his time, and for succeeding times. Actually, one might make the case that his theology is more valuable for our time than it was for his time.