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SCM Studyguide: The Sacraments

SCM Studyguide: The Sacraments

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334040200
Number of Pages: 200
Published: 29/04/2006
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm

The Sacraments are clearly intended to focus and unify the church, yet nothing has divided the church so much as the nature of the sacraments and who should minister and receive them. From the early controversy over whether the Jewish sacrament of circumcision was necessary for Christians, through the Donatist schism and the Reformation controversies, down to the ordination of women, division over the sacraments have characterised the church. Even what counts as a sacrament has proved divisive.

This book looks by looking at general ideas of sacraments and ritual, the Old Testament practices and the response of Jesus and the Early Church. In turn it looks at the growth of sacramental theology up to the Reformation and since then. 

The book concludes by considering whether there are other practices - such as deliverance, reverence of icons of preaching that might be considered sacramental. 

Introduction ix

Part 1 Meanings and Origins 

1 Symbol and Rite in Three Dimensions  

2 Pagan and Jewish Antecedents  

3 The New Testament: Christ the Mystery and the Mysteries 

Part 2 Developing Theologies of the Sacraments 

4 A Very Short History  

5 The Modern Search for the Primordial Sacrament 

Part 3 Becoming Church: Sacraments and Christian Initiation

6 Evolution of Baptism and Christian Initiation  

7 Sacraments, Stages and Society: How Should We Make Christians?  

Part 4 Celebrating Church: Holy Communion 

8 Evolution of the Eucharist 

9 Theologies of the Eucharist: Presence and Sacrifice 

10 Eucharistic Theology: Space–Time, Society and Spirituality 

Part 5 Making and Remaking Church: Other Sacraments  and Symbols 

11 Symbols of Restoration: Reconciliation, Healing and Deliverance  

12 Symbols of Vocation: Ordination and Marriage 

Conclusion: The Sacramental Pris

Ross Thompson

Revd Dr Ross Thompson is a freelance writer in theology and ethics. He was parish priest in Bristol for twenty years, and subsequently lectured in Systematic Theology and Ethics at St Michael's College and Cardiff University.

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