By Miroslav Volf
In After Our Likeness, Miroslav Volf explores the connection among individuals and group in Christian theology. He seeks to counter the trends towards individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and provides group its due.
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Additional info for After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity
Ratzinger, "Liturgie," 247f. 191. Ratzinger, "Warum" 70. " The sacramental communality of the mediation of faith, of the way the word of God comes to bear, of the constituting of a local church and of a bishop, or the communality of the liturgy are all viewed as "guaranteeing" that in each case one is dealing with divine rather than human activity. "194 For only what derives from the ecclesial whole, which can be only one, can function as a guarantor of divine actions. 195 4. The communal form of Christian liturgy corresponds to a fundamentally communal spirituality, since communal liturgical expression requires that it be individually internalized.
Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 215. This representative function of the bishop is not to be confused with parliamentary representation. , 162). Neither, however, can the body thus represented by a bishop be an internally closed-off local church, but rather only a local church that is what it is precisely because in it the entire church is actualized. Hence the task of the bishop as representative is not "to determine the statistical mean value of the opinions of those whom he represents and then to bring these to bear in a form as chemically free as possible of his own additions"; his task is rather to represent "the common elements of the church" (Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 162, my emphasis; cf.
Ratzinger, Prinzipienlehre, 256. 156. Ratzinger, Fest, 84. 157. See Ratzinger, Prinzipienlehre, 309. 158. Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 206, 211. 159. , 169 (my emphasis). 160. Lumen Gentium 23; cf. Ad Gentes 20. 58 If the relation to all other churches is essential for the ecclesiality of the local church, and if the bishop of Rome is essential for the unity of the church, then the bishop of Rome is also essential for the ecclesiality of individual local churches. "164 That this ecumenically so offensive thesis could come from Ratzinger's pen can surprise only those unfamiliar with his theology.