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An Icon for Change - A Conversation with The Rev Cameron Partridge, Ph.D

posted Jul 7, 2012, 6:47 PM by Mel Soriano

An Icon for Change

A Conversation with The Rev. Cameron Partridge, Ph.D

Eloquence is something that is difficult to define, but we know it when we hear it. That was Marcia Ledford’s experience yesterday at the legislative hearing of D002. She was very moved by the testimony of Cameron Partridge, and he graciously agreed to an interview. 

The Rev. Cameron Partridge, Ph.D
ML: What was your primary message about trans-inclusion in the discernment process (Resolution D0002)? 
CP: Within The Episcopal Church (TEC), and in other Christian traditions, it is moving for transpeople to see clerics who are also transgender. Many transpeople have had very, very negative experiences with church. My presence as a priest and transman shows the community that our church is not a monolith. This message empowers them.

ML: Does this empowerment extend beyond Christianity, in your opinion?
CP: It does. Groups who are turned off by the church, are agnostic, or are atheist see that difference is more widely embraced, and this is an important message for all of us. Human beings span such a range of expression. Priests can serve as icons of those expressions.

ML: I understand you are teaching. What and where?
CP: I am a Lecturer in Liturgy and Preaching at Harvard Divinity School, where I am also the denominational counselor for Episcopal students. I also serve as the Episcopal Chaplain at Boston University. My area of interest is in early and medieval Christian theology, and in theories of gender and sexuality. 

ML: What was your dissertation about?
CP:  It was awarded out of the Religion, Gender and Culture Program at Harvard Divinity School, and focused on the Byzantine monastic theologian Maximus the Confessor (580-662 CE).  He placed a strong emphasis on the dynamism of difference within unity, and on the transformation of human beings as they grow into their identity in the body of Christ.  He frequently quoted Galatians 3:28: “in Christ there is no Greek or Jew, slave or free, male or female.”

ML: Thanks for joining me today, Cameron.
CP: It was great to talk with you.

Marcia Ledford is a postulant for the Episcopal priesthood from the Diocese of Michigan and civil rights attorney.  She is serving as a volunteer at General Convention with Integrity USA.