Eugene Schlesinger is Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. The author of Missa Est! A Missional Liturgical Ecclesiology (Fortress Press, 2017), and the editor of Covenant, he understands his vocation to be an Episcopalian who does Catholic theology. He is a systematic theologian by training and, works primarily at the intersection of ecclesiology and sacramental theology. Since discovering Augustine of Hippo, much of his intellectual energy has been devoted to recovering the relevance of a theology of sacrifice for understanding “God, the universe, and everything,” which will be the subject matter of his next book (currently in progress). He is a committed Thomist insofar as he believes that understanding is good, and that being is intelligible, and he strives to belong to what Bernard Lonergan described as a “perhaps not numerous center.”
Through a circuitous route, Gene has “come home” to the Anglican fold. Raised Catholic by Yankee parents in the Protestant South, he experienced an evangelical conversion in a Baptist setting, and began a sojourn among them. His undergraduate degree in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina Greensboro enriched what would otherwise be a bare Protestantism with essential texts and figures from throughout the Christian tradition. After M.Div. studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological seminary, Gene spent the next five years in pastoral ministry, most of it in church plant contexts.
Near the end of seminary, he experienced a sacramental and liturgical reawakening when he discovered Orthodoxy (both Eastern and Radical). Ever the eclecticist, he turned to John Calvin to help him reconcile these sacramental tendencies with his otherwise Evangelical outlook. After some flirtation with Presbyterianism, Gene found what he was looking for in the Anglican tradition. During doctoral studies at Marquette University, he learned and appropriated Catholic theology in a variety of forms (especially Patristic and contemporary instantiations), and is happy to belong to a tradition where all of his Evangelical and Catholic commitments are at home.
Gene peaked early, marrying his wife, Loren in 2002. Together they have two daughters, Joann, and Evelyn. The family loves camping, games (the nerdy variety), cooking (including forays into making cheese and mead) reading, and (to Gene’s chagrin) show tunes. He and his family attend St. Francis Episcopal Church in Willow Glen, California.