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Episode 54: Eucharistic Ecclesiology - Interview with Richard G. DeClue, Jr.
Episode 5419th April 2024 • Five Books for Catholics • Five Books for Catholics
00:00:00 00:24:01

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The books recommended in this episode are:

  1. Corpus Mysticum: The Eucharist and the Church in the Middle Ages by Henri de Lubac SJ
  2. Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today by Joseph Ratzinger
  3. Flesh of the Church, Flesh of Christ: At the Source of the Ecclesiology of Communion by Jean-Marie Roger Tillard
  4. Eucharist, Bishop, Church: The Unity of the Church in the Divine Eucharist and the Bishop During the First Three Centuries by John D. Zizioulas
  5. Sacrament of Salvation: An Introduction to Eucharistic Ecclesiology by Paul McPartlan

Ecclesiology consists in articulating what the Word of God tells us about the Church. It has been the central theme of the last two general councils, Vatican I and Vatican II. During the twentieth century, several leading Catholic and Orthodox theologians wondered whether over time the faithful had acquired a conception of the Church that was more juridical than Eucharistic. In accordance with Sacred Scripture and the apostolic tradition, the early Church was keenly aware that the Church is constituted above all in the celebration of the Eucharist. As St. Paul teaches, the Church becomes the body of Christ by offering and receiving his body in the Eucharist. “The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread" (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). The twentieth-century retrieval of these teachings became known as eucharistic ecclesiology and is sometimes summed up by saying that “the Eucharist builds the Church and the Church makes the Eucharist.” (John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia 26). However, it has also been criticised for offering a partial view of the Church. Nevertheless, understanding the place of the Eucharist in the Church is indispensable for leading the Christian life in full.

In this interview, Dr. Richard G. DeClue, Jr., will explain eucharistic ecclesiology and five recommended books on the subject.

Richard G. DeClue, Jr., S.Th.D. is the Professor of Theology at the Word on Fire Institute. He specializes in systematic theology with a particular interest and expertise in the thought of Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI and has published articles on his theology in peer reviewed journals such as Communio and Nova et Vetera,  he taught a college course on the thought of Pope Benedict XVI, and has written book, The Mind of Benedict XVI: A Theology of Communion (Word on Fire, 2024). He is also interested in the ecclesiology of Henri de Lubac, the debate over nature and grace, and developing a rapprochement between Communio (ressourcement) theology and Thomism.

Five Books for Catholics may receive a commission from qualifying purchases made using the affiliate links to the books listed.

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