Over the summer, Gene Schlesinger completed an initial draft of his next book, a study of the theme of salvation in the thought of the French Jesuit, Henri de Lubac — whom he learned, along the way, received an honorary doctorate from Santa Clara in 1969, furiously looking at revising it, and hoping to have it submitted for peer review by the end of the year. The book was positively reviewed by Thomas Rausch in the December 2023 issue of Theological Studies. Rausch described it as a "fine...careful study of de Lubac’s writing....important for [its] contribution to both soteriology and ecclesiology. He was also interviewed for an article in Santa Clara Magazine, which focused on sacrifice. They discussed his research on the theme, and the way in which sacrifice has been weaponized as a tool for abuse and how it can be rehabilitated as a positive resource in personal and religious life. Properly understood a sacrifice is a gift, and gifts can never be demanded or coerced, only freely given.
In addition, Gene spent October 12–14 in Baltimore for an in-person meeting of the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations. The focus was on crafting reports and resolutions for our General Convention, which will meet in summer 2024. This includes a proposal of full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, a proposal for a limited sharing of ministries with the Presbyterian Church (USA), steps towards a full communion agreement with the United Methodist Church, and educational materials on best practices for Jewish-Christian and Muslim-Christian relations. In addition, as part of his editorial responsibilities for The Living Church (one of the longest running Episcopal Church periodicals), specifically for its online journal, Covenant, Gene led a retreat/seminar for its regular contributors. The shared text and the focus of discussion was Henri de Lubac's Scripture in the Tradition, a text that's near and dear to Gene’s heart, having recently published a monograph on him, and regarding his theology of spiritual exegesis of Scripture as the best entry-point into his thought. The group consisted of folks ranging from academics to bishops to parish priests and lay people.