Friday, 6 March 2009

Church and eucharist

“The point of saying that the Eucharist makes the church is that the body of Christ is not a perduring institution which moves linearly through time, but must be constantly received anew in the Eucharistic action…. Because the church lives from the future, it is a thing that is not. The church inhabits a space and time which is never guaranteed by coercion or institutional weight, but must be constantly asked for, as gift of the Holy Spirit. The Eucharist is the imagination of the church, but it is not our imagination in the sense that Christians build the church. The Eucharist is God’s imagination of the church; we participate in that imagination insofar as we imagined by God, incorporated into the body of Christ through grace….

“Eschatology is always in tension with history. This is the church’s story. It is not reactive in the sense that the church is defined and located by the state, or by other narratives external to its own. Opposition to the powers and principalities of the world is written into the very narrative of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which is commemorated in the Eucharist.”

—William Cavanaugh, Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ (Blackwell, 1998), pp. 269-73. And on a related note, check out this failed gospel tract.


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