Assessing the interrelationship between sacrifice, real presence, and communion in recent Roman Catholic theology

Zöller, Madeleine E.T. (2013) Assessing the interrelationship between sacrifice, real presence, and communion in recent Roman Catholic theology. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In this thesis, I investigate the centrality of the sacrifice in the interrelationship between eucharistic sacrifice, real presence and sacramental communion in recent Roman Catholic theology. I explore different ways in which the Eucharist is understood in today’s world.
First, I analyse texts of the Second Vatican Council and post-conciliar texts. The Second Vatican Council and post-conciliar official texts present new ways of discussing the Eucharist, which has put into relief diverse aspects which contribute to a deeper understanding of it.
Then, I examine texts from the theologians Joseph Ratzinger, Edward Schillebeeckx and David Power and evaluate their work in the light of Vatican II and the post-conciliar texts. These theologians were chosen because Ratzinger and Schillebeeckx shared the advantage of being close to the proceedings of the Council, Ratzinger as a peritus and Schillebeeckx as an advisor to Cardinal Archbishop Alfrink from Utrecht, whereas Power did not participate at the Council. All agree on the teachings of Vatican II but each has responded to the unique event of the Council in his own way. I find great variations in their eucharistic theology that are complementary and thus contribute to deeper understanding of the vast complexity of the Eucharist. Ratzinger finds that the heart of the Eucharist lies in the sacrifice. His contributions have an apostolic and hierarchical emphasis. With a communio-ecclesiology and an emphasis on the People of God he relates unity and union, but does this in a way that might be interpreted as exclusive and narrow. Schillebeeckx aimed at rethinking classical Christology in the light of historical criticism of Scripture. Sacraments are perceived as relational events of an encounter with God. Liturgy is the celebration of God’s interruption into ordinary life giving glimpses of his kingdom. The Eucharist is a performance challenged by the juxtaposition between the verbal and the physical. Power’s contribution is the presentation of the eucharistic sacrifice as an “eventing” of God’s grace with a great emphasis on the kenosis of Christ as gift. He develops creative interpretations of the sacrament of the Eucharist which he flexibly uses when discussing the eucharistic sacrifice. In his theology he preserves both the unity of the faith as well as allowing its expression in diversity.
Finally, my study confirms that the eucharistic sacrifice is the central act upon which the real presence and communion depend. The Eucharist is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of the cross; and, as such, it expresses the passion, death, resurrection, ascension and the continual presence of Christ in the sacrament, which has its aim in sacramental communion. Although the Eucharist can be expressed in various ways, it embodies the centrality of the sacrificial act.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Roman Catholic Theology Eucharist Sacrifice Real Presence Communion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Jasper, Professor David
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: phd Madeleine E T Zöller
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4566
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2013 08:06
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2020 15:51
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.4566

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