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Christian Theologies of the SacramentsA Comparative Introduction$
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Justin S. Holcomb and David A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724323

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724323.001.0001

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Theologies of Sacraments in the Eighteenth to Twenty-First Centuries

Theologies of Sacraments in the Eighteenth to Twenty-First Centuries

(p.261) 14 Theologies of Sacraments in the Eighteenth to Twenty-First Centuries
Christian Theologies of the Sacraments

James R. Gordon

NYU Press

This overview chapter for the third part of the book covers theologies of sacraments in the context of the development of modernity in the eighteenth to twenty-first centuries. It explores the relationship of sacraments to the ideas of conversion and regeneration, particularly in the ministries of eighteenth-century pastors Jonathan Edwards and John and Charles Wesley. Sacramental theology in the nineteenth century is addressed in relation to the First Vatican Council (1868), the Oxford Movement, and the writing of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Twentieth-century theologies of the sacraments are described in terms of what transpired at the Second Vatican Council (1962) and the 1982 document Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry from the World Council of Churches, as well as the work of theologians Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Alexander Schmemann. All these perspectives contribute to what is often emphasized in theologies of the sacraments in the twenty-first century, that “the things the church does in the liturgy, including the sacraments, already implicitly contain the things we believe about God and therefore should be a foundational starting point for thinking about who God is.”

Keywords:   sacrament, Eucharist, baptism, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, First Vatican Council, Oxford Movement

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