Dallas Willard, one of today's most brilliant Christian thinkers and author of The Divine Conspiracy (Christianity Today's 1999 Book of the Year), presents a way of living that enables ordinary men and women to enjoy the fruit of the Christian life. He reveals how the key to self-transformation resides in the practice of the spiritual disciplines, and how their practice affirms human life to the fullest. The Spirit of the Disciplines is for everyone who strives to be a disciple of Jesus in thought and action as well as intention.
The principle that guided the architects of the Lectionary in selecting the second readings in the Sunday Lectionary was that the readings should be short and easily understood. The second readings were intended to be an independent, semi-continuous reading of the letters attributed to Paul and James, with selections from Peter and Revelation. Pilch explains that, because the readings were shortened, their brevity has deprived readers of sufficient context to interpret the text-segment in a responsible way. To help people make sense of such high-context documents, Pilch provides in The Cultural World of the Apostles a broader literary context for each reading.
John J, Pilch, PhD, teaches Scripture at Georgetown University. His book, The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible won The Catholic Press Association Award for 2000. His other The Liturgical Press publications include The Cultural World of Jesus series,The Triduum and Easter Sunday: Breaking Open the Scriptures, Choosing a Bible Translation, Galatians and Romans in The Collegeville Bible Commentary, and articles in The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, The Collegeville Pastoral Dictionary of Biblical Theology, and The Bible Today.
Morrill also marshals the work of many scholars concerning the concept of anamnesis which has proven crucial to the progress of ecumenical dialogues on Church order and the Eucharist. The effort is to understand how the Church's liturgical commemoration of God's salvific deeds in history, especially in Jesus, allows for neither a timeless form of religious piety nor a ritualism detached from the commerce of life in the world. A concluding investigation of the relationship between anamnesis and eschatology leads to further considerations about the dialectical character of the praxis of faith. Anamnesis as Dangerous Memory, while written in the field of systematic theology, offers a fresh perspective and framing of the issues for readers of Christian ethics and moral theology.
Chapters are "The Promise and Challenges in the Renewal of the Eucharistic Liturgy," "Johann Baptist Metz's Political Theology of the Subject," "Alexander Schmemann's Liturgical Theology: Joyous, Thankful Remembrance of the Kingdom of God," "Christian Memory: Anamnesis of Christ Jesus," and "Conclusion."
Bruce T. Morrill, SJ, holds the Edward A. Maloy Chair of Catholic Studies in the divinity school at Vanderbilt University where he is also Professor of Theological Studies. In addition to numerous journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, he has published several books, most recently Encountering Christ in the Eucharist: The Paschal Mystery in People, Word, and Sacrament (Paulist Press, 2012). His most recent book with liturgical Press is Divine Worship and Human Healing: Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death Pueblo/Liturgical Press, 2009)."
Rita Thiron is the associate director of the Office of Worship in Grand Blanc, Michigan. She also serves as the executive secretary of the Diocesan Worship Commission, is a member of the Committee for Liturgical Design, a member of the Christian Initiation Steering Committee, and a popular workshop presenter in the diocese and region.
Father LaVerdiere illustrates how the origins of the Eucharist coincide with the origins of the Church. The development of the Eucharist reflects the development of the ealy Church, as well as its creative theological and pastoral reflection. Through the lens of the New Testament it views the beginnings of both Church and Eucharist when the risen Lord appeared to the disciples at meals soon after Jesus' passion, death and resurrection. He also looks beyond the New Testament and explores theongoing development of Eucharistic theology and practice up to the mid-second century, ending with Justin Martyr, the first to describe the Eucharist to people who had no personal experience of it.
Father LaVerdiere focuses on the Eucharist in relation to ecclesiology, Christology, and liturgy. He begins by reflecting on how Christians referred to the Eucharist before it had a name, how names for the Eucharist came to be and their importance, how the Eucharist was celebrated at the very beginning, how liturgical formulas came to be, how these formulas brought out the riches of the Eucharist, and how the Eucharist related to different pastoral situations.
The concept of triunity" the assembly, the Eucharist, and the Church guides this study. The Eucharist is the sacrament of the assembly, the sacrament of the Church's life in the world. From the very beginning, there was no separating the three, nor are there separating references to the Eucharist from the letters, gospels, or other work in which the three appear. Here, FatherLaVerdiere stresses that in order to know the Eucharist in the New Testament and the ealy Church, one has only tolook at the composition and actual life of the Church. Thus, to know the Church, one has only to look at the way it celebrates the Eucharist.
Since most of today's chalenges concerning the Eucharist are similar to those experienced by the ealy Church, The Eucharist in the New Testament and the Ealy Churchwill be of greathelp to pastors, students, catechists and those inministry, who want the celebration of the Eucharist to make a difference on the rest of Christian life in the Church.
Eugene LaVerdiere, SSS, is the senior editor of Emmanuel magazine and an adjunct professor of New Testament studies at Catholic Theological Union and Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. He is author of Fundamentalism: A Pastoral Concern, A Church for al Peoples: Missionary Issues in a World Church,and Luke from the New Testament Message seriespublished by The Liturgical Press."