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Title: After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity
Author: Volf, Miroslav
Publisher: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co; Publication Date: 1997
Paperback; ISBN: 9780802844408
Volumes: 1; Pages: 326
List Price in Paper: $32.00 Our price: $21.99
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In After Our Likeness, the inaugural volume in the Sacra Doctrina series, Miroslav Volf explores the relationship between persons and community in Christian theology. The focus is the community of grace, the Christian church. The point of departure is the thought of the first Baptist, John Smyth, and the notion of church as "gathered community" that he shared with Radical Reformers.Volf seeks to counter the tendencies toward individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and to suggest a viable understanding of the church in which both person and community are given their proper due. In the process he engages in a sustained and critical ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic and Orthodox ecclesiologies of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and the metropolitan John Zizioulas. The result is a brilliant ecumenical study that spells out a vision of the church as an image of the triune GodTable of ContentsPrefaceIntroduction to the American EditionIntroduction1. A Cry of Protest and Its Fate2. Free Churches: The Churches of the Future?3. An Ecumenical StudyPART II. Ratzinger: Communion and the Whole1. Faith, Sacrament, and Communion1.1. Faith and Communion1.2. Sacrament and Communion 2. Eucharist and Communion3. The Word of God and Communion4. Office and Communion5. Communio Fidelium6. Trinitarian and Ecclesial CommunionII. Zizioulas: Communion, One, and Many1. The Ontology of Person1.1. Trinitarian Personhood1.2. Human Personhood 2. Ecclesial Personhood2.1. Christ: Person and Community2.2. Baptism2.3. Truth 3. Ecclesial Communion3.1. Eucharist and Communion3.2. Community and Communities 4. The Structure of the Communion4.1. Institution and Event4.2. Bishop4.3. Laity4.4. Apostolicity and Conciliarity PART IIIII. The Ecclesiality of the Church1. Identity and Identification of the Church1.1. What Is the Church?1.2. Where Is the Church? 2. We Are the Church!2.1. The Church as Assembly2.2. The Church and the Confession of Faith 3. Church and ChurchesIV. Faith, Person, and Church1. Faith and the Church1.1. Ecclesial Mediation of Faith1.2. Individualism of Faith?2. The Ecclesial Character of Salvation2.1. The Ecclesiality of Salvation2.2. The Genesis of a Concrete Church3. Personhood in the Ecclesial Community3.1. Personhood and Christian Being3.2. Person in the Communion of the Spirit V. Trinity and Church1. Correspondences and Their Limits1.1. Correspondences1.2. The Limits of Analogy2. Trinity, Universal Church, and Local Church3. Trinitarian Persons and the Church3.1. Relational Personhood3.2. Perichoretic Personhood4. The Structure of Trinitarian and Ecclesial RelationsVI. Structures of the Church1. Charismata and Participation1.1. Bishop or Everyone?1.2. The Charismatic Church2. The Trinity and Ecclesial Institutions2.1. The Trinity as Model2.2. Spirit, Institutions, and the Mediation of Salvation3. Ordination3.1. Office and Ordination3.2. Ordination and Election VII. The Catholicity of the Church1. The Question of Catholicity2. Catholicity and New Creation3. The Catholicity of the Local Church3.1. Catholicity and Grace3.2. Catholicity and Creation4. The Catholicity of PersonBibliographyIndexReviewsAnglican Theological ReviewOne of the most important contributions made to the study of ecclesiology, not only within Protestant theology where good ecclesiology is often scarce, but also in the field of the ecumenical study of the Church.Currents in Theology and MissionThe doctrine of the church has recently been gaining momentum due to the ecumenical movement and the church's attempt to understand her role in a secular society. Volf's book is a welcome contribution to the discussion. It is highly readable and should be studied by pastors, professors, and seminary students.Journal of Ecumenical StudiesVolf offers a significant contribution to the debate from a free-church point of view, grounded in biblical and patristic research, but taking account of the ecumenical studies and contemporary systematic contributions of Moltmann and Pannenberg, especially their eschatological orientations. The author's own background, in both the Croatian context where Catholic and Orthodox churches dominate and working within the evangelical scholarly community, gives his research and ecumenical breadth and uniqueness of point of view that makes its contribution to the discussion particularly important.Modern TheologyThis book richly deserves to be read beyond purely academic circles. By reformulating Free Church ecclesiology, Volf offers anyone interested in ecumenical dialogue a new touchstone for understanding many of those traditions that continue to be excluded (and to exclude themselves) from ecumenical discussions.Theological StudiesCreative, original, and compelling in its organization and logic. Volf's study deals with a number of areas that still need further critical reflection not only in Orthodox and Catholic ecclesiologies, but also in those of the Free Churches.InterpretationIn this substantial volume, Volf explores the relationship between trinitarian theologies and their corresponding ecclesiologies. His thesis is that a Free Church trinitarian ecclesiology is not only dogmatically defensible but in certain social situations may prove to be superior to other ecclesiologies.. A careful theology with broad ecumenical interests, Volf's exposition of Ratzinger and Zizioulas is exemplary, and his own constructive arguments make a significant contribution to contemporary theology.