By Miroslav Volf
In After Our Likeness, Miroslav Volf explores the connection among people and group in Christian theology. He seeks to counter the developments 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
Totality in which the one church of God is realized. If through the bishop this vertically organized local church is indeed to be bound into the communio ecclesiarum, however, then the bishop must also be a representative of his congregation to the larger church. "149 one ordo episcoporum. The bishop's membership in this ordo is not something that may or may not be added as a supplement to his status as bishop, but rather is itself constitutive for that status. 151 The status of bishop is accordingly shaped by the same basic structure of communality as is the status of the Christian; a person is a bishop from and toward others.
The sacramental authority deriving from Christ — "I give what I myself cannot give; I do what does not come from me" 167 — corresponds to a spirituality of divestment consisting in perpetual renunciation of what is one's own. Such divestment should characterize the entire church, from the Pope to simple believers. " 165. Ratzinger, "Kirche," 178f. 166. , 41ff. 167. Ratzinger, Cemeinschaft, 108. 168. Ibid. Thus does spirituality correspond to the basic structure of communality. Rather than being a pious supplement to ecclesiology, it is grounded in its very premise; the church is a communion of love of human beings among one another and with the triune God.
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. The systematic vortex of his eucharistic ecclesiology 161.
After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity by Miroslav Volf