By Miroslav Volf
In After Our Likeness, Miroslav Volf explores the connection among folks and neighborhood in Christian theology. He seeks to counter the trends towards individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and provides neighborhood its due.
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Additional info for After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity
Ratzinger, Schauen, 79. 100. ; Fest, 128. 101. Lumen Gentium 26. 102. See Christus Dominus 11. Cf. Ratzinger, Gemeinschaft, 41. 103. 3 below. 104. Ratzinger, Gemeinschaft, 41. So also the document of the Congregation of Faith concerning the church as communio ("Kirche," note 9). 105. 3 below. 106. 2 above. 107. Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 95. 46 47 AFTER OUR LIKENESS Ratzinger: Communion and the Whole 3. "111 Next to transtemporality, communicability is the most important characteristic of tradition as collective memory.
If one begins with a nonmetaphorical notion of the body of Christ, interprets this notion as implying the subjectivity of the whole church, and at the same time asserts the precedence of the universal church, then one must ask how every individual local church (even if it is standing in communion with the larger church) can also be conceived as the body of Christ. One possibility is to understand each local church as a concretization of the universal church, which does not exist visibly outside these local concretizations.
The liturgy, Christian existence, the being of the church and of the bishop — all these are always received from the whole. Reception is a basic form of ecclesial existence and of human existence as such. Protestant Christianity emphasized the primacy of reception over the "justification by works" of Catholic soteriology and ecclesiology. Ratzinger gives to this charge of "justification by works" an anti-Protestant, and especially an anti-Free Church twist. The activity of the larger church is indispensable for securing the primacy of reception; the activity of the Gospel or of scripture (or even of tradition) does not suffice.
After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity by Miroslav Volf