Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Towards Eucharistic community

Back in 1998, the brilliant Lutheran theologian Eberhard Jüngel gave an address on Eucharistic community at the German Katholikentag. The address was translated this year and published as “Church Unity Is Already Happening: The Path Towards Eucharistic Community,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 44:1 (2005), 30-37.

Jüngel models a theologically robust form of ecumenical dialogue in which confessional differences are not ignored or brushed aside, but are taken with full seriousness, and are analysed sharply so that a better understanding can be achieved.

In this address, Jüngel notes that the division between Catholic and Protestant communities “is and remains an ecclesiological scandal, to which the only legitimate scandal, the word of the cross, must put an end” (p. 36). Focusing on the Eucharist as an event of the gospel, Jüngel notes that in the Eucharist there is “no law which would demand human activities or human works,” but rather there is “simply the gospel itself, the gospel that presents to us the salvific action of the death of Jesus Christ” (p. 32).

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