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To Remember the Lord Jesus: Leadership and Memory in the New Testament

Ellen Bradshaw Aitken

Christian theological reflection appropriately draws upon the texts of the New Testament to consider questions of the nature, character, and shape of pastoral leadership. This article delineates a groundwork for doing so by examining at the outset the methodological parameters of the task of reconstructing ancient Christian ideas and practices of leadership. Approaching the texts as themselves exercising leadership in the communities from which they derive and as acts of communal memory provides a basis for describing the capacities required for the construction and cultivation of community in first-century Christianity. The stewardship of communal memory appears as a vital aspect for understanding leadership. Examining how such stewardship of memory is expressed and motivated theologically issues in a series of questions for ecclesial reflection today.

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