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The Eucharist and Ecumenism


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 (ISBN-13: 9780511426964)

The theology of the Eucharist has long been the subject of heated debate, particularly since the Reformation. George Hunsinger's book explores ways in which Christians might resolve their differences in this area. With the aim of fostering ecumenical convergence, he tackles three key issues dividing the churches about the Eucharist: real presence, Eucharistic sacrifice, and ordained ministry. Hunsinger, a Protestant theologian in the Reformed tradition, brings Eastern Orthodox views more systematically into the discussion than has been common in the West. He also discusses the social significance of the Eucharist. His detailed conclusion summarizes and clarifies the argument as a whole with an eye to explaining how the views proposed in the book could lead the churches, beginning with the Reformed church, closer to the day when obstacles to Eucharistic sharing are overcome. George Hunsinger has been chosen as the recipient of the 2010 Karl Barth Prize by the jury of the Union of Evangelical Churches in the Evangelical Church in Germany.

• A groundbreaking discussion of the three most divisive Eucharistic issues: real presence, Eucharistic sacrifice, Episcopal succession • Addresses the main points of impasse in current ecumenical discussion and suggests how they can be overcome • Relates the Eucharist to contemporary concerns about justice and peace


Acknowledgements; Introduction: ecumenical theology; Part I. Real Presence: 1. The bread that we break: controversies; 2. The iron in the fire: a proposal; Part II. Eucharistic Sacrifice: 3. The sacrifice we offer: controversies; 4. Christ our Passover: a proposal; Part III. Eucharist and Ministry: 5. Eucharistic ministry: controversies; 6. Eucharistic ministry: an impending impasse?; Part IV. Eucharist and Social Ethics: 7. The Eucharistic transformation of culture; 8. Nicene Christianity, the Eucharist and peace; Conclusion: let us keep the feast; Index.


'This volume is an ambitious project which makes a major contribution to theological and ecumenical exploration of the eucharistic tradition.' Worship

'Hunsinger is amazing … Not only is he a top-knotch theologian who finds significant common ground between the Reformed, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodoxy, but he also manages to argue for women's and gay ordination in a logical and level-headed way. … he is a model for peaceful discussion …' Books, Catholicity, Sacraments, Theology

'… sympathetically explored … fascinating …' Church Times

'So thank God for George Hunsinger. He refuses to let past polemics die. In this elegantly written and well-argued book he addresses each of the areas of contention with clarity and generosity in the hope that we can rediscover the unity that is ours.' Christian History

'… comprehensive in its coverage and challenging in its conclusions.' Journal of Theological Studies

'The Eucharist and Ecumenism is an ambitious project, the product of a deeply eirenical mind with a capacity for detail and attention to the positions of others. It reflects the author's conviction that visible - that is, structural - unity of the Church is its Lord's will for it, and therefore worth working for, in spite of contemporary discouragement. To read it has been a reminder of the riches of the whole Christian tradition, and a challenge to the comforts of denominationalism into which we so easily slip.' Search

'… this extensive treatment of the topic, by the Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton, is a work of incisive scholarship based on extensive knowledge of the literature, and reveals an irenic attitude along with the ability to formulate possibilities of convergence which, if accepted by the churches, would create an ecumenical theology of the Eucharist.' One in Christ

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