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Chair de l'Eglise, chair du Christ: Aux sources de l'ecclesiologie de communion.

Chair de l'Eglise, chair du Christ: Aux sources de l'ecclesiologie de communion. By J. M. R. Tillard. Paris: Cerf, 1992. Pp. 168. Fr. 100.

Tillar'd Foreword explains his purpose: to answer questions raised by some readers of T.'s previous volume, Eglise d'Eglises (1987). The questions that are mentioned in the Foreword relate to an alleged priority of the individual over the ecclesial in the order of salvation, to a pastoral concern for ecclesial renewal through a spiritual elite, and to an alleged contrast between interiority and sacramentality. The "ecclesiology of communion" that T. has presented would contradict these more or less modern concerns.

T. responds by writing what could have been some prolegomena to Eglise d'Eglises. The three chapters of his answer examine the basis, in the New Testament and in patristic theology, for the ecclesiology of communion. The gift of salvation in Christ implies the creation of a community, with the Father and with one another, this community being the work of Christ through the Spirit. The "body" that is thus shaped by Christ and for Christ is the same time eucharistic and ecclesial. This communion and this body are so nurtured by the sacrifice of Christ that the Church itself is said to be "the sacrifice of faith." The Conclusion explains the profound sense of the book's title, "Flesh of the Church, Flesh of Christ," in which T. finds the origin and the sense of the Church's mission.

This new book by one of the great contemporary ecclesiologists will help not only the readers of Eglise d'Eglises but also all who a re interested in current research into a communion-ecclesiology. It deserves a good translation in English.

George H. Tavard

Marquette University
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Author:Tavard, George H.
Publication:Theological Studies
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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