The Rev. Marshall E. Crossnoe, PhD

Background and Intersections of Interest

I was born and raised in Texas, and I’ve also lived in Wisconsin and France. Now I live in Missouri. Debbie, my wife of 35 years, has made living in all these places better. So have my daughters Gabrielle and Claire. I completed an undergraduate degree in political science at Hardin-Simmons University, in Abilene, Texas, in 1982. Political ideas and bodies, especially their structure and development, fascinated me then, and they still do.

After graduation, I chose seminary over of law school, mostly because I was active in a Southern Baptist church and I thought “full time ministry” in that tradition was in my future. Not so, and further “course corrections” followed. I completed an MA degree at the University of Texas in Arlington (1989), and a PhD degree in medieval history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1996). I taught history at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and then at Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, Missouri.

The subject of my dissertation and most of my publications is the Regular Canons of Saint-Victor, an international order of mostly French priests who worshipped God and served their neighbors from the twelfth to the eighteenth century. As regular canons they lived together following the Rule of St. Augustine, and they were also ordained for and carried out sacramental ministry under episcopal direction. Some of them were masters of theology in the university at Paris during the thirteenth century and afterwards who taught their canon brothers (mostly), collaborated in university administration, and wrote theological works that are compelling though little-known.

These academic pursuits — my own and the Victorines’! — were major factors leading me to The Episcopal Church. I was confirmed at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Worth in 1993, and ordained deacon and priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, 2007-2008. I served as part-time vicar at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Fulton, and at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Portland, from 2008 to 2022. During those same years, while teaching world history at Lincoln University, I also taught church history and liturgical/sacramental theology for the Episcopal School for Ministry of the Diocese of Missouri. During the pandemic, I served as dean of ESM and as Interim priest at The Episcopal Church of the Advent in Crestwood. Now I’m officially retired from university teaching and from compensated parish ministry, though I still stay busy. I assist as priest on a part-time, volunteer basis at Grace Episcopal Church, in Jefferson City, and also teach courses in our diocese’s current regimen for forming ordinands.

The nature and scope of our Christian faith-life has captured my imagination recently, to a large degree as the result of study and fellowship with my friends in the “Prayer, Theology, Mission Colloquium.” I’ve become convinced that Christian faith-life is deeply rooted in and the authentic enactment of the living, mutually constitutive interaction of our theological reflection, our sacramental worship, and our missional service in the world. We explored this mutuality in A Eucharist-Shaped Church, but we certainly did not exhaust its implications. The rich life of the Body of Christ is directed toward our corporate, eschatological divinization, our full welcome into the trinitarian life of God. So here and now it has ontological reality as well as discursive reality. It is formed concretely by word and sacrament, and it is expressed in sacrificial service, of God in eucharistic and prayerful worship, and of the world through Christ-like love of our neighbors and informed, responsible care of God’s good creation.

Texts that Formed Me

Theology and History

Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, On the Trinity (especially book 5), and The City of God (esp. bk. 6).

Marie-Dominique Chenu, Nature, Man, and Society in the Twelfth Century: Essays on New Theological Perspectives in the Latin West (1957; 1997).

William Courtenay, Schools and Scholars in Fourteenth-Century England (1987).

Henri DeLubac, Corpus mysticum: Esssay on the Eucharist and the Medieval Church (1944; 2006).

Gerard of Saint Victor (d. c. 1320), philosophical and theological questions, and sermons.

Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World (1963; 2004), and Introduction to Liturgical Theology (1966).


Philosophy and Biography

Aristotle, Metaphysics and Categories.

Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (1966; 1973).

Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (1927; 1996); “What Is Metaphysics?” (1929), “Postscript To ‘What Is Metaphysics?” (1943), and “Introduction To ‘What Is Metaphysics?’: Getting to the Bottom of Metaphysics” (1949).

Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: A Biography (2019).

Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer: A Life (1998).

Ray Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius (1990).



William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! (1936), and Go Down, Moses (1942).

John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989).

Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain (1924), and Joseph and His Brothers (1933-1943).

What I'm Currently Reading

Yves Congar, Tradition and Traditions: The Biblical, Historical, and Theological Evidence for Catholic Teaching on Tradition (1960, 1963; 1997).

Nikolaus Loudovikos, A Eucharistic Ontology: Maximus the Confessor’s Eschatological Ontology of Being as Dialogical Reciprocity (2010), and Church in the Making: An Apophatic Ecclesiology of Consubstantiality (2015).

Cormack McCarthy, Cities of the Plain (1998).

Ralph McMichael, The Eucharistic Faith, vols. 1 (2019) and 2 (forthcoming).

Eugene Schlesinger, Missa Est! A Missional Liturgical Ecclesiology (2016).

Jordan Daniel Wood: The Whole Mystery of Christ: Creation as Incarnation in Maximus Confessor (2022).