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The Eucharist and Ecumenism: Let us Keep the Feast (Current Issues in Theology) 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521719179
ISBN-10: 0521719178
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Editorial Reviews


"What is needed now is a clear and comprehensive guide to contemporary sacramental and liturgical theology together with some realistic proposals for movement toward mutual recognition. That is precisely what George Hunsinger proposes to provide in The Eucharist and Ecumenism: Let Us Keep the Feast. And in many significant and persuasive ways he does. This book merits serious attention by scholars and church officials alike. Hunsinger is a model ecumenical theologian. Some twenty-five years after the World Council of Churches' Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry, and after some forty years of very serious dialogue among the churches, Hunsinger has moved the conversation forward significantly. It will be a while before we see another book as good at dealing with these issues, which are vital for the unity of Christians." --Commonweal (3/27/2009)

Hunsinger is amazing. Not only is he a top-notch 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. I disagree stridently with him on women's and gay ordination, but he is still a model for peaceful discussion. --Study and Liturgy, September 15, 2009

I cannot recommend this book too highly. It demonstrates the possibility of receptive ecumenism. -- The Rt Revd Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford. From 1974-1981 he was Co-Secretary of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). --Church Times, June 5, 2009

In this elegantly written and well-argued book, Hunsinger addresses each of the areas of contention -- presence, sacrifice, priesthood and social significance -- with clarity and generosity in the hope that we can rediscover the unity that is ours. . . . His ability to understand and use other traditions reveals not only his lightly carried erudition but the generosity that shapes his work. . . . The Eucharist and Ecumenism is a book someone needed to write, but it was not clear that anyone would know how to write it. Hunsinger shows us that it can be done. --Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School --The Christian Century, October 20, 2009

The book ends quite literally on a peaceful note. . . . Hunsinger rescues H. Richard Niebuhr's often maligned Christ and Culture (1951) for subtle use in advocating a "eucharistic transformation of culture" - and gives welcome recognition also to E. L. Mascall's Corpus Christi (1953). . . . In his conclusion, Hunsinger sums up his proposals for the three main controverted matters concerning the eucharist . . . At the theological level he has been quite persuasive. --Geoffrey Wainwright, Duke Divinity School --International Journal of Systematic Theology, January 2010

The great strength of this discussion is that no one Church is exempt from the needful process of self-critique. All in all, a worthwhile study, mature in its point of origin, but comprehensive in its coverage, and challenging in its conclusions. --Journal of Theological Studies, October, 2009

This work is ... likely to be classic and enduring. It is marked by a deeply considered insightfulness, genuine ingenuity, and by a gracious aspiration to understand the very best in each position. --Mark A. McIntosh, Pro Ecclesia, Summer 2010

This is a deeply gracious book. As a Roman Catholic ecumenist, I have the greatest of admiration for what Hunsinger has achieved. ... All who long for the unity of the Church are in his debt.
--Margaret O'Gara, Pro Ecclesia, Summer 2010

The book is theologically deep and historically solid. I will use it with my students, since it is one of the most reliable and thought-provoking studies on the eucharist. --Risto Saarinen, Pro Ecclesia, Summer 2010

Book Description

The theology of the Eucharist has long been the subject of heated debate; particularly since the Reformation. In this book, George Hunsinger explores ways in which Christians might resolve their differences in this area. He tackles three issues dividing the churches about the Eucharist: real presence, Eucharistic sacrifice, and ministry. --This text refers to the Printed Access Code edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (September 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521719178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521719179
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,336,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Matthew Milliner on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
George Hunsinger, a Reformed theologian with strong sympathies for the ecumenical heartland of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, does not dabble in ecumenical theology as a side interest, but is driven to it out of necessity. He distinguishes between "enclave theology," (my communion has all the answers), "modern academic liberal theology" (which deracinates theological truth claims) and "ecumenical theology," which he attempts to resurrect. He is too aware of the flaws in his own Reformed tradition to be an enclave theologian, and yet is too aware of flaws in the others, especially the secular academic communion, to jump ship. His cri de coeur revolves around this crucial insight about divided Christianity: "The most urgent and overriding goal... is not self-preservation [institutionally or personally] but reunion."

Guided by this principle, Hunsinger makes a strong Protestant case for the real presence via eucharistic transelementation (for which he provides ample cross-confessional documentation), asks pointed questions that the Reformed, Catholic and Orthodox communions are afraid to ask, sacramentalizes Niebuhr's Christ and Culture schema, and concludes in the realm of art and architecture, without which his proposals can't be fully realized. Hunsinger understands that Mercersburg high church Protestantism is not a personal preference for those into that sort of thing, but an ecumenical obligation.

Drawing on T.F. Torrance, Hunsinger shows that stale critiques of "re-sacrificing" Christ simply will no longer do. "'The action of the supper,' wrote Torrance, 'is not another action than that which Christ has already accomplished on our behalf, and which is proclaimed in the Gospel.' It is rather the very same action in a new and sacramental form.
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Hunsinger is a clearly a good thinker and did excellent reseach for this book. The book is also well-organized topically. In these ways, it is a "five star" work. Hunsinger writes in such a dry, deadening way that I found it difficult to stay interested. For style, I give it a "one star." Those who love Eucharist and Ecumenism will still want to bear the pain and slog through it.
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