- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: October 2020
- Print publication year: 2020
- Online ISBN: 9781108884464
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108884464
- Subjects: Philosophy of Religion, Religion, Theology
All doctrinal development and debate occurs against the background of Christian practice and worship. By attending to what Christians have done in the eucharist, Kimberly Belcher provides a new perspective on the history of eucharistic doctrine and Christian divisions today. Stepping back from the metaphysical approaches that divide the churches, she focuses on a phenomenological approach to the eucharist and a retrieval of forgotten elements in Ambrose's and Augustine's work. The core of the eucharist is the act of giving thanks to the Father – for the covenant and for the world. This unitive core allows for significant diversity on questions about presence, sacrifice, ecclesiology, and ministry. Belcher shows that the key is humility about what we know and what we do not, which gives us a willingness to receive differences in Christian teachings as gifts that will allow us to move forward in a new way.
‘For so many centuries the Eucharist has functioned not as the empowering manifestation of the church's unity but as an effective symbol of division. Kimberly Hope Belcher joins her formidable philosophical and theological knowledge to astute pastoral observation and prayerful wisdom to achieve an analysis of the neuralgic points impeding ecumenical communion. Eschewing the hegemony of metaphysics that has so long dominated Roman Catholic eucharistic theology, Belcher's phenomenological method unfolds what various Christians already share in such eucharistic experiences as givenness and thanksgiving to construct a theology full of promise for those willing to dialogue in a humility true to the liturgical experience of the sacrament.'
Bruce T. Morrill, S.J. - Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
‘In this ecumenically sensitive volume, Kimberly Hope Belcher presents an intriguing argument for shared participation at the altar/table between diverse Christian communities … the tone of the book pulls the reader along and provides a sense of hope and possibility.’
Paul Galbreath Source: Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology
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