Delves into the ancient debate regarding the nature and purpose of the seven sacraments What are the sacraments? For centuries, this question has elicited a lively discussion and among theologians, and a variety of answers that do anything but outline a unified belief concerning these fundamental ritual structures. In this extremely cohesive and well-crafted volume, a group of renowned scholars map the theologies of sacraments offered by key Christian figures from the Early Church through the twenty-first century. Together, they provide a guide to the variety of views about sacraments found throughout Christianity, showcasing the variety of approaches to understanding the sacraments across the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox faith traditions. Chapters explore the theologies of thinkers from Basil to Aquinas, Martin Luther to Gustavo Gutierrez. Rather than attempting to distill their voices into a single view, the book addresses many of the questions that theologians have tackled over the two thousand year history of Christianity. In doing so, it paves the way for developing theologies of sacraments for present and future contexts. The text places each theology of the sacraments into its proper sociohistorical context, illuminating how the church has used the sacraments to define itself and its congregations over time. The definitive resource on theologies of the sacraments, this volume is a must-read for students, theologians, and spiritually interested readers alike.
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