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Christian Community in History Comparative Ecclesiology by Roger (S. J.) Haight

Christian Community in History Comparative Ecclesiology


Christian Community in History Comparative Ecclesiology by Roger (S. J.) Haight

Drawing upon the methodology developed in his Dynamics of Theology (1990) and exemplified in Jesus, Symbol of God (1999), Roger Haight, in this magisterial work, achieves what he calls an historical ecclesiology, or ecclesiology from below. In contrast to traditional ecclesiology from above, which is abstract, idealist and ahistorical, ecclesiology from below is concrete, realist, and historically conscious. In the first of two volumes, Haight charts the history of the church's self-understandings from the origins of the church in the Jesus movement to the late middle ages. In volume 2, Haight develops a comparative ecclesiology based on the history and diverse theologies of the worldwide Christian movement from the Reformation to the present. While the ultimate focus of the work falls on the structure of the church and its theological self-understanding, it tries to be faithful to the historical, social, and political reality of the church in each period.


With the first volume of his ecclesiology from below, Roger Haight has clearly again established himself as a pioneer in the creation of historical theology. Using historical study to recover as far as we can the actual experience of Christians in past centuries and then drawing on social scientific methodology to analyze this evidence, he has reflected on this data theologically to distill the dynamics inherent in the development of structured Christianity. I eagerly await volume 2 that promises a truly theological tracing of Christianity s evolution from the Reformation to the present. -Bernard Cooke--Bernard Cooke While maintaining the theological nature of his study, Roger Haight s historical ecclesiology lays a sturdy foundation in a historical, sociological analysis of the beginnings and development of the Christian Church from its origin in Jesus of Nazareth to the eve of the Reformation. This is a groundbreaking volume Haight has served all ecclesiologists well by initiating a way of looking at ecclesiology as it develops on the ground, so to speak. He has done it with theological integrity and clear analyses. He challenges us all to understand differences as values and the most appropriate way for the incarnation to continue through human history, honoring both the human and the divine whether in the stable or the palace of the council chamber. Catholic Studies/ http: //, 2005 Cover Story Feature on Haight National Catholic Reporter, 2/25/05 The result is indeed an intrguing florilegium of complex autobiographical accounts that not only reflect upon stages of one's intellectual development, but are also valuable records of the cultural, social and ecclesial setting of a particular epoch of general and church history in various corners of the world... The reflections are at once personal, conversational in style, not without gentle humour and a sense of self-effacement, and yet they also reveal the deepest convictions, hard struggles and long-lasting concerns that animate one's scholarly activity. The ultimate questions that we see as underlying these reflections concern the nature of theology and the identity of the theologian. It is highly personal amd yet universally valid answers to these twin-questions that make this book particularly interesting for everyone attracted by, in the editors

, 'this wonderful discipline'. - Louvain Studies The esteemed Roger Haight excels in addressing where the church and theology currently find themselves. This represents his most extensive work to date in ecclesiology and is a monumental two-volume study in comparative ecclesiology, building upon the insights developed in recent years in the more general subdiscipline of comparative theology. This is a work of immense scholarship, yet it is wonderfully accessible in style and prose. It deserves to become the standard work in its field for some time to come. -Journal of American

Academy of Religion, June 2006

Roger Haight's massive work, Christian Community in History, is a significant achievement... Haight writes clearly, with a deep historical sense and a good understanding of theological issues--Sanford Lakoff Scottish Journal Of Theology

About the Author

Roger Haight, S.J., teaches at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His two previous books form a trilogy with Christian Community in History on the nature of Christian theology, Jesus Christ, and the church.

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Book Info

Publication date

17th March 2005


Roger (S. J.) Haight

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


512 pages


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