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Ingestion and gestation: peacemaking, the Lord's supper, and the Theotokos in the Mennonite-Anabaptist and Eastern Orthodox traditions.

I. Introduction

On November 14, 2009, a Mennonite-Orthodox dialogue took place at Sunnyside Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on the topic of "The Eucharist and Peacemaking," in which I participated, along with Dr. John Rempel, Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, IN), and Alex Patico, Secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship in North America. The event was a stimulating exchange of perspectives on the sacramentality of the eucharist presented as an agency of peacemaking in both the Anabaptist and the Orthodox traditions. Key themes explored included the eucharistic community as sacrament, unity as peacemaking, and peace in the Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Since both Rempel and Patico readily admitted their somewhat scant familiarity with the historical, theological, social, and liturgical heritages that their dialogical counterparts represented, I spoke as a liaison of sorts, given my familiarity with and personal experience in both the Anabaptist and Orthodox traditions.

This essay is an adaptation of the paper I presented at the dialogue, but with a new objective to answer the question: In what way did the eucharist inspire both transfiguration and ecclesial unity--a precondition and manifestation of peace, respectively--in early Anabaptism? Originally, I proposed that the Orthodox Church designates Mary as Theotokos, or God-bearer, who bore God within herself without being consumed, as the archetype of our own pre-communion preparation through incremental transfiguration so that we too may bear God--that is, the body and blood of Christ--in our own bodies worthily. Our own ingestion of Christ's body and blood during Holy Communion models the gestation of Christ in Mary's womb. It is, therefore, the anticipation of receiving Christ into our bodies that inspires attentiveness to our own transfiguration throughout the week--the "liturgy after the Liturgy"--so that we too will not be consumed by the divine food. Rempel underscored the early Anabaptist, and especially Marpeckite, understanding of the church as a "sacramental body of Christ" that "is enfleshed spirit, God's means of grace to the world," and he further maintained that this "sacrament is more an action than an object," which involves a "shift in referent: the church itself, rather than the elements by themselves, becomes the signifier." This, as I noted in my original paper, finds currency also in Orthodox liturgical expressions, though during the dialogue I asked whether there was something unique about the Lord's Supper itself that incited the transformation of the church into the "sacramental body of Christ" in the same way that the anticipation of union with the body and blood, or the real presence, of Christ inspires attentiveness to one's transfiguration in Orthodox perspective.

Although I have retained the Orthodox insights from my original paper in the present adaptation, my primary purpose is to corroborate Rempel's interpretation of the Lord's Supper in Anabaptism by demonstrating that, for Pilgram Marpeck (d. 1556) especially, Mary as Theotokos likewise served a paradigmatic role that stimulated personal transfiguration in preparation for receiving the Eucharistic Gifts similar to its portrayal in Orthodox liturgics. As my original paper was presented in dialogical format, much of what I highlighted in both the Anabaptist and Orthodox traditions to engage my fellow interlocutors has been retained; it is adjusted merely to introduce our examination of Marpeck's appeal to the Virgin Mary as the key to understanding the gravity of uniting oneself to the body and blood of Christ and the requisite transfiguration and petition for divine mercy that allows their worthy ingestion. Admittedly, an Anabaptist interpretation does not correspond exactly with an Orthodox presentation, but this is the nature of dialogue as inviting both opportunity and constraint.

II. Imitation and Transfiguration

A common expression conveying the early Anabaptist accent on the imitation of Christ was Nachfolge Christi, literally "following after Christ"--the emphasis on "discipleship" that Harold Bender outlined in his celebrated Anabaptist Vision. (1) By acknowledging the Anabaptist emphasis on the imitation of Christ--not as a counterfeit carbon copy but a sincere participation in the teachings of Christ--Timothy George has contended that for Anabaptists, "the Christian is called to a more profound imitatio Christi than the mere observance of outward conformity allows. The Christian must suffer the cross in the same way as Christ suffered the cross." (2) Regarding the role of the Lord's Supper, Marpeck acknowledged in his Vermahnung (1542) that "communion testifies to the revealed love of Christ, which the members of the church have for each other as they proclaim his death. And in His death," he continued, "He gives us the new commandment; as a reminder of Him, we are to give ourselves for each other unto death and in His "me, just as He gave His life for us out of love." (3) However, "only the sword of the Spirit, and not the fleshly sword, can save him. Unlike those who deny the truth, as Peter did, we then witness, in all patience, to the truth of the Word, through which we can save one another, and continue, in spirit and truth, in an eternal, and not a temporal, life." (4) In essence, Marpeck was suggesting that Christ would not have shed the blood we now drink during Holy Communion had he not told Peter during his arrest to "[p]ut your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Mt. 26:52). (5) Indeed, it is the memorial aspect of the Lord's Supper that, by recalling Christ's humble submission to death, "we should love one another as Christ loved us and, through patience, we should show our love to all our enemies and also pray for them, even unto death." (6)

The Mennonite emphasis on imitation, epitomized by martyrdom that the Lord's Supper reflects, finds expression in Orthodoxy also, but only if it is modified to comply with its spiritual experience and sensitivities. Accordingly, imitation corresponds not to the practical procedures or act of peacemaking itself but to the liturgical expressions that facilitate and the virtues that comprise the transfiguration that enables nonviolence, peacemaking, and love of enemies. Instead, peacemaking characterizes the telos or a constituent of the restored image of God. So, although the telos is not so easily imitable due to its perfection, completeness, and diastema (distance), (7) the content of a life in Christ that matures through the observance of prescribed liturgical disciplines and virtues must factor into the way the Orthodox Church speaks or what it teaches about violence (either direct or systemic), war, or wealth, for the telos of peacemaking comprises the transfiguration for which the Orthodox faithful strive, in anticipation of receiving Christ's body and blood during Holy Communion, which we will examine more thoroughly below.

This type of imitation is not foreign to Orthodoxy, for Peter, with specific allusions to Christ's nonviolent passion, says, "Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.... when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly" (1 Pet. 2:21-23). In reference to this verse, St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, affirmed, "Let us then be imitators of His patience; and if we suffer for His name's sake, let us glorify Him. For He has set us this example in Himself, and we have believed that such is the case." (8) Notice, therefore, that in this case we are to imitate the virtue of patience that enables nonviolent suffering. Further, Paul tells the Corinthian church to "[b]e imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1), selflessness and humility being the emulative virtues in this case. Commenting on this verse's implications for retaining ecclesial unity, St. Ignatius of Antioch declared, "[I]t is incumbent upon us also to live according to the will of God in Christ, and to imitate Him as Paul did." (9) St. John Chrysostom observed, "This is a rule of the most perfect Christianity ... For nothing can so make a man an imitator of Christ as caring for his neighbors." (l0) St. Gregory of Nyssa contended: "If anyone names himself after Christ, it is necessary to see what this name demands for persons taking it upon themselves and then to be conformed to it ... The characteristics of the true Christian are the same we apply to Christ. We imitate those characteristics we are able to assume, while we venerate and worship what our nature cannot imitate." (11)

From these examples, we notice that imitation is concerned with the characteristics of a spiritual life, the virtues that lead to the contemplation of God. Yet, the failure that Gregory mentioned implies that the telos, though valuable as a foil to measure the extent of one's transfiguration, is not perfectly or consistently achievable in this life.

The function of prescribed prayers in the Orthodox Church reveals the purpose of delineating precisely the composition of the telos of theosis, or mystical union with God through the divine energeiai (energies). (12) The prayers of the Church hold up a foil to our destructive behavior--prodding, examining, and challenging the disposition of our hearts in ways that could never be derived from the same distorted heart. Despite our individual views, we are forced to examine the extent of our union with Christ by our compliance with and reaction to, for instance, the following Orthodox "Prayer for Peace":
 Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on the
 earth. Guide, I pray, all the nations and their leaders in the ways
 of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice,
 prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war. Help us to put away
 mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and
 using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect and
 freedom. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace
 against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression. Grant that we
 may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created
 in Your image, to Your honor and praise. Amen. (13)

Prayers describe the telos, in this case comprising peacemaking; the extent to which Christians fail to align themselves with this description should determine how we speak about their, and our own, failure--be it refusing to affirm cupidity and affluence or withholding gratitude for state-sanctioned bloodshed. Fr. John McGuckin has rightly decried "[t]he voices that glorify war," claiming they "are not the illumined ones, and never have been," (14) and further observing that the Eastern Church "has stubbornly clung to a less congratulatory theory of the morality of war ... because it sensed that such a view was more in tune with the principles of the Gospels." (15)

The Orthodox spiritual life itself best epitomizes the reciprocity between imitation and transfiguration, virtue and telos. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware outlined four qualities of Orthodox spirituality--repentance, watchfulness, discrimination, and guarding the heart--that are helpful though by no means sequential or an absolute Orthodox spiritual paradigm. (16) The first quality--repentance, or metanoia, literally a "change of mind," or as Kallistos described it, "the re-centering of our whole life upon the Trinity" (17)--has primarily a positive focus, being transfigured into "what by divine grace we can now become." (18) "Metanoia" thus implies turning away from destructive behavior and the identification of this behavior so as to imitate its opposite.

The next quality, watchfulness, or nipsis, is usually associated with the monastic tradition on Mt. Athos. The glossary in the English translation of the Philokalia defines "nipsis" as signifying "an attitude of attentiveness whereby one keeps watch over one's inward thoughts and fantasies ..., maintaining guard over the heart and intellect." (19) Nipsis, then, suggests that there are specific virtues and passions for which we must watch; for that reason it involves prescription and imitation. Peacemaking, for instance, comprises the telos upon cultivating such virtues as sobriety, temperance, humility, courage to face martyrdom, obedience, and, of course, love.

Third, Kallistos described discrimination, or diakrisis, as "a spiritual sense of taste, [which], if developed through ascetic effort and prayer, enables a man to distinguish between the varying thoughts and impulses within him." (20) The collective experience of the saints and monastics before us permit the Church to prescribe the virtues they discerned. This diakrisis, then, allows one, fourth, to guard the heart, which is, as Kallistos observed "the spiritual center of [one's] being, the human person as made in God's image--the deepest and truest self, the inner shrine to be entered only through sacrifice and death." (21) To guard the heart is to practice "prayer of the heart" and implies spiritual warfare against the "disordered appetite or longing that violently takes possession of the soul: anger, jealousy, gluttony, avarice, lust for power, pride, and the rest." (22)

Specifying the violent corollary of these passions, Jas. 4:1-2 asks, "What causes wars, and what causes fighting among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war." In like manner, the Russian monastic of St. Panteleimon Monastery on Mount Athos, St. Silouan (1866-1938), observed, "Men have attached their souls to the things of this earth and have lost the love of God, and so there is no peace on earth," (23) and elsewhere, "[W]hen the soul stills her passions and grows humble, the Lord gives her His grace, and then she prays for her enemies as for herself, and sheds scalding tears for the whole world." (24) The antithetical virtues to these passions are what we are called to imitate, while the passions themselves are not suppressed but transfigured. (25) To be sure, dispassion, or apatheia, suggests an ontological adjustment--the purity of heart. However, on the liturgical level, the Church prescribes specific prayers, the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion, daily reading of scripture, prostrations during prayer, fasting, and almsgiving so that, as Kallistos noted, we are purified "through feeding our mind with the thought of what is good, [and] through practical acts of loving service to others." (26)

However, an emphasis on transfiguration was also characteristic among early Anabaptist leaders. Similar to the accent on theosis in the Orthodox tradition, Mennonite theologians Alvin Beachy and Thomas Finger have both drawn attention to the soteriological emphasis on divinization, or vergottung in Anabaptist origins. (27) For instance, Menno Simons described the new birth as being "so united and mingled with God that he becomes a partaker of the divine nature." (28) Likewise, Menno's colleague in the Netherlands, Dirk Philips, avowed that Christ's followers became "participants of the divine nature, yes, and are called gods and children of the Most High." (29) Hans Denck emphasized the divine Word that indwelled each Christian "that it might divinize them." (30) Signaling the cooperation between imitation and transfiguration, Finger has claimed that Marpeck "countered the Spiritualist emphasis on immediate, inward relationship with God by insisting that any true relationship is grounded in Jesus' concrete, earthly obedience," (31) which for humanity meant, as Marpeck described it, "an integration of, or participation between, the human and the divine." (32) Elsewhere, Marpeck claimed in his "Clare Verantwortung" (1531) that, through obedience to Christ, we "more fully partake of the divine nature and spiritual good." (33) This partaking of divinity, moreover, occurs because we "pattern ourselves after" Christ, (34) who "forbade such vengeance and resistance (Lk. 9, 2 1; Mt. 5), and commanded the children who possessed the Spirit of the New Testament to love, to bless ... their enemies, persecutors, and opponents, and to overcome them with patience (Mr. 5; Lk. 6)." (35)

This transfiguration via the partaking of the divine nature factors into Marpeck's conception of the Lord's Supper and what actually occurs at the ingestion of the Eucharistic Gifts. Rempel discussed the early Anabaptist "tendency to erect an ontological barrier between the sensible and spiritual worlds [which] deprived matter of a capacity to mediate spirit," rendering the performance of the eucharistic rite ex opere operato deficient in the opinion of nearly all Radical Reformers. (36) The exception, however, was Marpeck, who believed, according to Finger, that "[n]o ontological barrier between matter and spirit exists." (37) "Accordingly," wrote Marpeck, "if one desires to receive the external sign correctly, he must certainly bring with him the inner and the outer essence together," (38) which suggests a visible sign of an invisible faith in addition to grace. (39) We will outline precisely how this expresses itself in Marpeck's eucharistic theology and the archetypal role of Mary as Theotokos below. For now, however, we note the transfiguring import of the eucharist, as Marpeck occasionally equated Christ's divinity with the Holy Spirit, which is present also in the Lord's Supper to draw the communicant, as Finger observed, "into the divinizing Trinitarian dynamic." (40) For example, Marpeck claimed that
 the Holy Spirit also gives thanks in us on our behalf in the
 eucharist of the blessing of the bread of His body and the cup in
 His blood, through which He has united us into one body in His body
 (with the sacrifice of His body), and has reconciled us with God
 the Father and Himself, that we should be one in Him, as He is one
 in the Father and the Father is one in Him. (41)

This unity with each other and with the Triune Godhead signals a transfiguration since, through integration among the persons of the Trinity, the communicant is "born of Him in His manner and nature." (42)

However, theosis and Vergottung demonstrate the ecclesiological ramifications of describing the telos of peacemaking as a foil to measure transfiguration when prescription fails. As an example, Orthodoxy describes the Church in medical rather than juridical terms. Accordingly, as a hospital's function is the healing of the infirmed, the Church's role is the nourishment and healing of the battered soul, the reparation of the image of God in each human being. The Orthodox Church, therefore, cannot prescribe the telos of peacemaking as an achievable goal for all members of the Church, but it can describe this same telos to demonstrate the extent to which its members fall short. As military combatants and government officials are among those needing salvation, they are accordingly not excluded from the embrace of the Church in the same way that it would be anomalous of a hospital to exile its diseased and wounded. Nevertheless, the Mennonite peace witness challenges the Orthodox Church to speak about violence in compliance with its description of the telos of peacemaking in order to stave off contamination in the hospital/Church. In this way, the Church prevents the antidote from becoming the disease and fulfills its function as embodying truth at all times and in all circumstances by refusing to usurp the priorities of the Reign of God with the objectives of the kingdoms of this world. As St. Silouan again observed, "If the kings and rulers of the nations knew of the love of God, they would never make war. War happens to us for our sins, not because of our love." (43)

III. Unity as Peacemaking

The Orthodox Church holds ecclesial unity in such high regard because of its overarching function to unite in humility and love what the fall of humanity fractured through pride and disobedience; if the Church does not rectify the plurality and mutual animosity that resulted from the fall, it does not fulfill its witness as the body of Christ and ceases to be the Church. Therefore, Rempel's claim that Marpeck took seriously enough the incarnation of Christ to apply the term "body of Christ" to the Church "not [as] a metaphor but the description of a literal reality," is true for Orthodoxy on the universal level, since, as Alexander Khomiakov observed, the Church "belongs to the whole world, and not to any particular locality." (44) In this way, the catholicity expressed in each parish is a microcosm of the unity and fullness of the faith in the ecclesia universalis. Fragmentation, however, is rooted in violence in at least two respects: (1) in the way our manifold environment offers a plurality of opinions, which are involuntarily either attractive or objectionable and therefore dominate and do violence to the unity of the Church by forcing it to reflect this plurality and division itself; and (2) in the way fragmentation creates animosity among human beings.

Although the fall of humankind generated confusion and division, there is, as Archbishop Gregory Afonsky expressed it, a "divine plan to conform fallen mankind to sonship in Christ through the Holy Spirit." (45) With St. Cyril of Alexandria's guidance, he further observed, "Just as the Body which the Word made His own is life-giving, so we who partake in His sacred Body and Blood are wholly vivified. For the Word abides in us, both divinely by the Holy Spirit, and humanly by His sacred Body and precious Blood. The Body of Christ within us binds us into unity, for that Body is never divided." (46) Indeed, Christ, expressing eucharistic undertones, commands us to seek reconciliation before we offer our oblation on the heavenly alter (Mt. 5:23-24). The ineluctable confusion from the fall, therefore, requires a response in humility and a mutual relinquishment of pride, wherein the Church becomes, as McGuckin observed, "the communion of praise that lives out of the doxology of its God." (47) Accordingly, in the Anaphora of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, the priest declares, "Let us attend, that we may offer the Holy Oblation in peace," after which the people respond, "Mercy and peace, a sacrifice of praise." Unity of worship and praise of the Triune God requires sacrifice, an ascetic self-effacement that puts first the unity of the "Sobornost," a Slavic term that suggests a community that defeats individualism and division by emphasizing what it has in common. Since, as Khomiakov remarked, "The unity of the Church follows of necessity from the unity of God," (48) our self-abandonment to God's will, or the kenosis epitomized by Christ's taking on human form and becoming vulnerable to death, (49) entails the same self abandonment in order to maintain the unity of the Church.

This kenosis humbly concedes that the violence of multiplicity and confusion ensures that I will be, simply stated, wrong most of the time if left to my own devices--if I act in accordance with my own will by separating from the Church, which is, as St. Paul says, "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). This requires love of enemies--within a particular parish, the Church at large, and the entire world. The worthiness we acquire to be permitted access to the Eucharistic Gifts through our reconciliation with our brother and sister is itself a transfiguration that transcends ecclesial boundaries and benefits the entire world as well. Against the backdrop of years of Communist oppression and imminent ethnic strife, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania once declared, "Each person is a brother or sister. We don't have enemies. If others want to see us as enemies, it is their choice, but we have no enemies. We refuse to punish those who punished us." (50) Similarly, St. Theophan the Recluse declared, "The whole of humanity, united with its divine source in Christ, is the living Body of the Incarnate Word of God ... which already possesses all necessary means for attaining the future peaceful and perfect life." (51)

Anabaptists had their own word for kenosis, namely, "Gelassenheit," often translated as "yieldedness." (52) This term has a varied history within several strands of the Radical Reformation, including the Spiritualists, Philipite Brethren in Moravia, Hutterites, in Thomas Muntzer's emphasis on the "bitter Christ," (53) and the transfigurative power of humanity's suffering in the "gospel of all creatures" taught by Hut, Schlaffer, Scheimer, Marpeck, and Hans Denck. (54) Essentially, Gelassenheit denotes the abandonment of one's will to God and to the ecclesial community so that, through self-denial, salvation can occur. For instance, in his treatise on free will, Was geredet sei, class die Schrifi sagt (1526), Denck observed, "There is no other way to blessedness than to lose one's self will." (55) Gelassenheit, therefore, describes what is required to maintain the unity of the Church. As Arnold Snyder observed, Gelassenheit taught Anabaptists to "yield inwardly to the Spirit of God [and] outwardly to the community and to outward discipline." (56)

The eucharistic import of this mutual submission lies in the communion of love that reflects the compound of the gifts themselves. As Marpeck observed, "Just as one loaf is made of many kernels ground together so as to become mixed with one another and become one loaf, so do they, who eat this loaf and drink this cup with one another in the Lord's Supper, become one with the body of Christ in love and obedience of the faith." (57) This metaphor is found in Chapter IX of the Didache, which was not yet discovered in Marpeck's day, (58) and therefore reflects the Orthodox understanding of "the eucharist as the sacrament of unity" which likewise acknowledges the import of this metaphor. (59) Interestingly, this same image was employed by Anabaptists in further protest against the Catholic practice in the sixteenth century of allowing only priests to partake of the eucharist, (60) which the Orthodox Church has never taught.

IV. Mary's Illumination of the Eucharistic Function in Orthodoxy

Both Rempel and Finger have observed that Marpeck interpreted the eucharistic elements less through a static admission of the real presence and instead in more dynamic terms of motion and their role in the "continuing saving drama," since "the Supper is an activity--is itself an intertwining of spirit and matter." (61) Orthodoxy does not deny that the Church itself is a sacramental community and that this sacramentality is an action, or involves motion. Fr. Alexander Schmemann observed:
 The Eucharist has so often been explained with reference to the
 gifts alone: what "happens" to the bread and wine, and why, and
 when it happens! But we must understand that what "happens" to
 bread and wine happens because something has, first of all,
 happened to us, to the Church. It is because we have "constituted"
 the Church, and this means we have followed Christ in his
 ascension; because he has accepted us at His table in His Kingdom;
 because, in terms of theology, we have entered the Eschaton, and
 are now standing beyond time and space; it is because all this has
 first happened to us that something will happen to the bread and
 wine. (62)

The Church becomes a sacramental community in at least three ways: (1) through our participation in the Reign of God, including acts of peacemaking and social justice; (2) in our reclamation of and witness to the de facto divine origins of our ostensibly "natural" environs, which are therefore touch-points of communion with God; and (3) as it ascends into the heavenly realm, typified by the movement (both dramatically and eschatologically) of the Divine Liturgy.

Nevertheless, an Orthodox articulation of the Divine Liturgy includes the ascension of the Holy Gifts (the bread and wine) also into the heavenly realm. It is here that the metanoia, or change, of the gifts into the body and blood of the risen Christ occurs on the heavenly alter by the agency of the Holy Spirit. As the Trisagion prayers, typically sung at the beginning of one's personal prayers and each service in the daily cycle, expresses it, an Orthodox understanding of the sacraments begins with an awareness that "Christ is everywhere present and fills all things." Since God's creation encompasses more than just humanity, our oblation includes all of God's creation, which is illustrated by the wheat and grapes of the bread and wine. Creation is God's means of communion with humanity by the direct provision of sustenance for us as food, which we then offer back to God so God can return it as eternal, spiritual food: the body and blood of the resurrected Christ. Archimandrite Vasileios described the comprehensiveness of the Orthodox sacramental outlook and accompanying component of gratitude: "He is offered to us, broken and poured out. We do not know what to do. We can find nothing of our own to give Him as an offering of thanks, 'for we have done nothing good on earth.' That is why we take everything that is His own and offer it with gratitude." (63) Or, "Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all," as the Anaphora expresses it immediately prior to the epiclesis--the prayer calling upon the Holy Spirit to descend upon both "us and upon these gifts."

We must ask what it is specifically about the eucharist that has the unique capacity to transform the Church into a sacramental community. It must be admitted that it is strange to expect the transfiguration of fragmented humanity into the united body of Christ if it is not adequately explained how its most sacred act of worship, namely, Holy Communion, is the impetus for this transfiguration. Accordingly, St. Justin Martyr stated:

[T]his food is called among us ... [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. (64)

Regarding this need for prior transfiguration ("regenerationem" or "anagennesin") that St. Justin discussed, Mary's role as Theotokos, or God-bearer, is of paramount importance. At the Church's inception, the Septuagint was her scripture, since the "New Testament" had not yet been canonized or even written and widely distributed. Early Christians therefore extracted figures and prophetic harbingers of first-century ecclesial teachings and practices from the Hebrew Scriptures. Accordingly, the Mother of God was often portrayed as Jacob's ladder--the junction between heaven and earth illustrated in the giving of her own flesh to the divine, or her "carnal" to the Incarnate Christ. Other Hebrew Bible figures included Aaron's rod representing Mary's virginity and the east-facing "outer gate of the sanctuary" that "shall remain shut" from Ez. 44:1-2 signifying the perpetuity of this virginity. More relevant to our discussion on the eucharist, Mary was also portrayed as the manna pot from Ex. 16:33, since she bore within herself Christ, who is the true manna, which if one eats it, one will live forever (Jn. 6:58). Her divinely appointed role as Theotokos was also symbolized by the ark of the covenant that contained the manna, Aaron's rod, and the covenantal tablets, emblematic of Christ the Logos. Finally, while a censor's coal and fire represent the humanity and divinity of Christ in Mary's womb, this fire is given greater prominence in the figure of the burning bush, which, like Mary, bore the fire of divinity--Godself--but was not consumed.

This is precisely how Orthodox envisage their seat at the heavenly banquet during Holy Communion and why Mary illustrates for us the manner and reason the Church becomes a sacramental community. At issue is whether we are worthy enough to partake of the divine food. Even more fundamental, however, is if the communicant is transfigured to a degree that precludes him or her from being consumed by the divine fire or, as the situation in Corinth recalls, from eating and drinking judgment upon him or herself, becoming weak or ill, and even dying (1 Cor. 11:29-30). Mary, divinely chosen as the pinnacle of obedience and purity that God expected of God's people after generations of apostasy, was uniquely worthy to endure the gestation of God within her womb without being consumed. Similarly, it is the responsibility of each communicant to cooperate synergistically with divine grace, so that through our own transfiguration we do not, as St. Paul instructs, ingest "the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner [and] be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:27).

Simply put, as Mary's purity enabled her to bear God in her womb without being consumed, the prospect of taking in Christ's body and blood during Holy Communion stimulates each communicant's transfiguration so that he or she is likewise not consumed by the divine fire. To be sure, one's effort toward transfiguration involves not only synergistic cooperation with divine grace but also the prerequisite need for divine mercy, which comprises part of the prayer that each parishioner recites immediately prior to receiving communion. After confessing, "I believe that this is truly your own immaculate body, and that this is truly your own precious blood," the communicant declares, "Wherefore I pray, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions ... and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of your immaculate Mysteries." Transfiguration, or "worthiness," is accomplished piecemeal by engaging the spiritual disciplines prescribed by the Church including a rule of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, the veneration of icons, and attendance at the various daily services, accompanied by unceasing repentance. Orthodox theologian Paul Evdokimov expounded on this function of the eucharist, providing a prayer by St. Simeon the New Theologian that underscores this function: "I know that neither the immensity of my faults nor the great number of my transgressions can surpass the tenderness and immense love of my God for men ... at the same time joyously and trembling I receive the fire ... as from the burning bush which was not consumed." (65) Since love for enemies is characteristic of a sacramental community, it is the eucharist that motivates the communicant to become a peacemaker.

Orthodox pre-communion prayers even before one's procession to the Holy Temple are another good source for our understanding of Mary's role. For instance, in them we reflect on the observations of St. Simeon Metaphrastes who, after noting that Christ's blood was generated by the "pure blood of the Virgin," described the mingling of his blood with our own during Holy Communion with further allusions to the divine fire:
 Freely, you have given your body for my food, you who are a fire
 consuming the unworthy. Do not consume me, O my Creator, but
 instead enter into my members, my veins, my heart. Consume the
 thorns of my transgressions .... Cleanse me, purify me and adorn me
 ... Show me to be a temple of your one Spirit ... as I become your
 tabernacle through Communion. (66)

Similarly, it is after, as a pre-communion Kathisma hymn expresses it, the mysteries as "fire and light" have "burn[ed] up the chaff of my sins" that we are transfigured and become proportionately worthy and able to bear Christ's body and blood within ourselves. This bears similarities to St. Athanasius's observation that Christ overcame death "by the grace of the resurrection, banishing death from them like straw consumed by fire," (67) so that by rendering death impotent, our own vivified life can once again receive true Life.

Moreover, Orthodox pre-communion preparations include direct requests to Mary for her prayers: "May He whom you carried in your womb, O Lady, show His mercy to me through your intercessions and keep me, your servant, undefiled and blameless so that I may be sanctified by receiving within myself the spiritual Pearl." Elsewhere, "O Mary, Mother of God, precious dwelling place of the Sweet Fragrance, through your intercessions make me a chosen vessel and a partaker of the holy Mysteries of your Son." In recognition that this fire did not consume the burning bush nor the Mother of God, we later concede, "I tremble at receiving Fire. May I not ignite as hay and wax. O terrfying Mystery! O the mercy of God! How can I who am earthly partake of the divine Body and Blood and become incorruptible?" Also comprising the pre-communion prayers, St. Simeon the New Theologian declared, "Emboldened by the wealth of Your generosity towards us, with both joy and trepidation, I who am grass partake of fire. ... I am sprinkled with dew and am not burned, as the bush burned of old without being consumed"--again alluding to the Hebrew Bible figure of Mary.

V. Mary's P(re)-creation of the Eucharistic Gifts in Marpeckite Thought

There are indications, however, that this trepidation about uniting oneself with Christ during Holy Communion, which encourages self-examination, finds currency also in early Anabaptism, with Marpeck as the leading spokesperson. Though not explicit in his writings as a coherent system, one could indeed build the case for Marpeck's recognition of Mary's role in imparting humanity to the Incarnate Christ as the answer to how exactly the Lord's Supper incites transfiguration individually and corporate unity in mutual, self-giving love. As per his Christology and retention of ontological mutuality between spirit and matter, Marpeck believed that calling the eucharistic elements "signs" was being disingenuous, and he acknowledged the need for an outward, material co-witness (mitzeugnus) to an interior receptivity to the sacrament. (68) When the inner and outer essences are brought together, "the signs are no longer signs, but are one essence in Christ, according to the inner and outer being." (69) Due likely to his lack of theological training, Marpeck's sometimes awkward presentation of the way in which it is proper to conceive of Christ's "real presence" in the eucharistic elements likely reflects his conviction that "[o]ne should not dispute or quarrel over the interpretation of the Word as it concerns the nature of the bread and wine." (70) Similarly, Schmemann noted the preservation of the eucharist as mysterion and singled out the doctrine of transubstantiation as "the collapse, or rather the suicide, of sacramental theology." (71) Finger outlines Marpeck's somewhat incongruous and seemingly contradictory appraisals of Christ's presence on the heavenly throne and in the Eucharistic Girls: "Jesus seemingly existed in four forms: as unglorified body on earth, as Holy Spirit in the Supper, and yet in both natures in heaven and also, somehow, in the Supper." (72)

It is this last conception that concerns us most, since Marpeck admitted that, as Finger has observed, "Jesus, with his two natures, was somehow present in the Supper 'through his divine power as Holy Spirit."' (73) Inner faith, however, must be present to activate the visible sign, for, as Rempel has maintained, when the material element is "appropriated by faith and thereby brought into contact with the Holy Spirit, it becomes one with the reality to which it points. Therefore, ... in the Lord's Supper, there is a communion with the body and blood of Christ." (74) Regarding the encounter with Christ during Holy Communion, Marpeck's "theology of the Lord's Supper led him to a belief in the 'real presence' of Christ." (75) However, the "real presence" of Christ was manifested less in the chemical, substantial alteration of the elements themselves and more in "the action of the community and its transformation." (76) This was Rempel's primary claim at the Mennonite-Orthodox dialogue in Lancaster, PA, and it is an observation that is certainly faithful to the sometimes irresolute sacramentology expressed in Marpeck's literary output.

How this "action" constitutes an encounter with the real presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper and the identification of what specifically about the eucharist incites personal transfiguration and unity in love was not adequately or comprehensively addressed during the dialogue. It appears, however, that the Orthodox perception of Mary--as the pure, all-holy (panagia) Theotokos who models for the communicant an attentiveness to personal purity so that he or she too can bear God, that is, the body and blood of Christ--worthily finds currency in the Marpeckite understanding of the Lord's Supper. Mar'peck unwaveringly affirmed that Christ "became man, conceived by the Holy Ghost in the Virgin Mary, conceived and born by the seed of woman as a true, natural, earthly man of the lineage and seed of David." (77) This proclamation was designated "the first matter to be considered in regard to communion" (78) because Christ's humanity, which he defended against Schwenckfeld, Hoffman, and Menno "who erroneously deny that Christ partook his flesh from the human generation of Mary," (79) allowed him to give "His earthly, natural life and body, and shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins." (80)

Indeed, against those who held this celestial-flesh Christology, Marpeck wrote that the elements of the Lord's Supper as "[t]he true bread, which Christ gave us and bade us to eat, did not come from heaven but from the Virgin Mary," yet he was equally clear that this same "flesh and blood which the Lord Jesus Christ bade us eat and drink was his untransfigured mortal body and blood unto reconciliation and favour with God ... It is not the transfigured, spiritual, exalted, flesh and blood!" (81) In an effort to associate Mary, from whom "God carved out Jesus' flesh," (82) and the untransfigured body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper with the untransfigured humanity of the crucified Christ, Marpeck further asserts, "We are reconciled through the death of the untransfigured body, flesh, and blood of Christ and not the life of the transfigured Christ." (83)

In terms of Marpeck's sacramentology, therefore, the humanity that Christ received from Mary is, as he argued against Schwenckfeld in his Verantwortung (1542-46), the same "flesh and blood of Christ, which was offered up in death, [and] is the right food in the Lord's Supper." (84) This is a significant assertion since he is admitting that the body of Christ that developed in Mary's womb, who "from his birth on ... was breathed into as the Word, the Holy Spirit, even God himself," (85) is the same body and blood that was subjected to a martyr's death on the cross and is therefore the body and blood that the faithful ingest during Holy Communion: "This bread [is] His broken or prepared flesh and blood, given up for our life. The pure flesh and blood of the virgin Mary prepared this flesh and blood for us, and this heavenly bread, which the Word made flesh, raises us from death to life .... it nourishes and preserves our souls" and is "[t]he true bread of remembrance." (86) Marpeck nevertheless affirmed, though at times awkwardly, that the human existence of Christ does not negate that he is "without beginning and from eternity the everlasting God and Spirit," and neither does his issuance from the Theotokos suggest that Christ was "not newly created but was [instead] born of pre-created (vorgeschoepften) flesh of human generation in the body of Mary." (87) Indeed, Marpeck employed the testimony of the "ancient theologians" to assure Schwenckfeld, whose docetistic minimization of Christ's humanity meant a preoccupation with his divinity, that his "description of the mystery of Christ's incarnation is not to take anything away from Christ's glory." (88)

It is true that Marpeck did not overtly grant the title of "Theotokos'" to Mary as did Hubmaier in his Apologia with guidance from Jerome's Adversus Helvidium. (89) Nevertheless, it is possible to detect an affirmation from his writings that Christ as "God himself' was able to gestate inside of Mary's womb without consuming her due to her faithfulness and purity: "Born of the chaste, virginal, pure Mary and conceived by the Holy Spirit, ... He who is of the nature of God, who is one God with the Father and God the Word, became flesh of and in Mary, and was born a true man from her faithful pure flesh as of the seed of Abraham." (90) This tacit, though not insignificant, acknowledgement of Mary as Theotokos signals the manner in which the Lord's Supper encourages unity in love and personal transfiguration. As we noted above, Marpeck was hesitant to speculate about the metanoia of the Eucharistic Gifts themselves. Instead, "[w]e have been instructed ... to consider the function of communion." (91) We can deduce from Marpeck's veneration of Mary as Theotokos, whose purity and faithfulness after generations of apostasy accounted her worthy to bear God without being consumed, that her union with Christ during the gestation period is the key to understanding how we too can unite with Christ during the Lord's Supper without being consumed, by being attentive to our own purity.

In the same way that Orthodox Christians consider the archetypal role of the Theotokos in preparation for receiving Holy Communion, Marpeck instructed his readers "to examine diligently his own self before he eats of the bread and drinks of the wine. As Paul clearly shows," Marpeck continued, "when anyone who is not worthy eats of this bread or drinks of this cup, he will eat and drink damnation on himself." (92) Admittedly, Marpeck contended that this damnation "is not dependent upon what the bread and the wine are in the Lord's Supper, but rather on the correct use of the bread and the wine, and upon the condition of the heart in which the bread and wine are taken." However, Marpeck immediately thereupon conceded that self-examination is important, since "[w]hoever is worthy to eat of this bread and drink of this cup experiences a participation in the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ ... Therefore, he exhorts us so earnestly, saying: Each individual must examine himself and, accordingly, eat of this bread and drink of this cup (1 Cor. 1 1:28)." (93) Consequently, it appears that Marpeckite sacramentology demands that one consider the magnitude of participating in the flesh and blood of Christ even if he discouraged his readers from concerning themselves "with what the external bread and wine signifies." (94) Again, the Orthodox Church's understanding of the eucharist as mysterion and its opposition to the scholastic-Aristotelian dissection of the metanoia that takes place constitutes an affirmation of Marpeck's directive to examine oneself rather than the Holy Gifts and of his opinion that "too much time has been spent in debating," (95) in which "hairsplitting and unnecessary disputes" (96) are worthy of censure and "efforts at definition have ended inconclusively." (97)

The content of this pre-communion preparation is also amenable to the Orthodox prayers that anticipate one's union with the body and blood of Christ at Holy Communion: "Are you wholeheartedly bent on following the example of Christ," Marpeck asked, "not only for your brethren, but also for your friends and enemies, according to the words of the Lord Jesus? Then the breaking of bread and drinking from the cup become a true participation in the body and blood of Christ." (98) Therefore, without speculating about the nature of this mystery, Marpeck nevertheless embraced the Lord's Supper as a sacrament and authentic union with Christ through a pure disposition of the heart in both faith and love. It is this "unity in love and patience toward one another" that reflects visibly and dramatizes anew the body and blood of Christ's selfless martyrdom that comprise the elements of the Lord's Supper also. (99) In his "combined report" on baptism and the Lord's Supper in his Vermahnung, Marpeck underscored the "external, pure, holy church" that is so integral to the preservation of the Lord's Supper. (100) For instance, Marpeck instructed his readers to "lead a pure life in united faith and brotherly love to the glory of God, just as Christ asks that his bride ... be pure and glorious." (101) This is precisely how the Orthodox Church portrays Mary as a type of the Church, whose purity allowed both the gestation of and mystical betrothal to Christ. From the Orthros service in commemoration of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Temple, one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, as informed by the mid second-century Protevangelion of James, we read:
 Truly yourself temple of God,
 you have been brought into God's temple,
 pure from childhood,
 with bright lights;
 you have been revealed
 as Light's abode,
 God's own inaccessible Light.
 Truly great is your entry,
 you who alone are God's bride
 and always a virgin.
 The Savior's most pure temple,
 priceless wedding chamber and Virgin,
 the holy treasure house of God's glory. (102)

If we consider Marpeck's description of Mary and her role in p(re)-creating the eucharistic elements, the connection is obvious: As those who "move away from the holy, pure, and true faith.., shall not have communion with Christ's body nor participate in His supper," (103) they begin to relinquish the criterion of purity epitomized by the Theotokos that permits union with Christ--both through participating in the body and blood of the Lord's Supper and by becoming his pure Bride that facilitates this participation--without being consumed.

As suggested above, Christ's glory is manifested fully in his post-ascension integration into the trinitarian economy when seated at the right hand of God, which the faithful will witness and experience for themselves at Christ's parousia. It is with this epochal schedule in mind that Marpeck affirms, "Christ's flesh is also God, as it is also the Holy Spirit, in the oneness of the Trinity, a lifegiving power yet without annulling his true humanity and flesh." (104) However, the Christian faithful's preparation for participating in the untransfigured body of Christ in the Lord's Supper allows the community of love to represent, at least partially, the eschatological transfigured body of Christ in the pure Church: When we "partake of the whole Christ" in the Lord's Supper, we anticipate "the last day, [when] the transfiguration of his body through the resurrection will become part of our body, even as has been shared with us in this age of grace, because through faith, we are the body of Christ now." (105) Ultimately, it is the anticipation of ingesting the untransfigured body and blood of Christ (previously gestated in Mary's womb and broken/spilled during the crucifixion) that inspires the transfiguration of the eucharistic community (as a harbinger of the post-ascension transfigured Christ that will appear at the parousia) in order for it to unite to Christ worthily during the Lord's Supper.

VI. Postscript on Excommunication in Both Traditions

To conclude, it is appropriate to expound briefly the significance of the coincidental practice of excommunication in both the Orthodox and early Anabaptist traditions. Among modernized, urban Mennonites, the ban has of course fallen into disuse, but the attendant "pure church" condition that the original Anabaptist use of the ban sought to preserve still often characterizes the Mennonite consciousness, especially in the area of nonviolence. It is Orthodoxy's retention of the link between excommunication and the eucharist that might allow Mennonites greater cognizance of their own similar theological heritage that emphasizes the sacramental community, transformed into the body of Christ, and capacitated for peacemaking. Although also for the correction of the reprobate, the ban in early Anabaptism was, to varying degrees, designed to sever the wayward member from the church community to, first and foremost, preserve the church's purity. For instance, Marpeck, although a moderate, claimed that those who "leave the holy commandments" should "be cut off and banned so that the church may remain pure and unblemished so that the entire church not become soiled with the foreign sins of a rascal." (106) The Orthodox Church, however, practices excommunication to single out conspicuous or more severe moral aberrations that signal a worsening condition of the soul and that prevent worthy assimilation of Christ's body and blood.

With direct implications for peacemaking, St. Basil of Caesarea's thirteenth canon in his first of three canonical epistles addressed bloodshed by soldiers during war, claiming "it is advisable that, since their hands are not clean, they should abstain from communion alone for a period of three years." (107) Similarly, St. Cyprian warned his readers that "after the reception of the Eucharist, the hand is not to be stained with the sword or bloodshed," (108) and Canon XII of the First Ecumenical Council held at Nicea states, "As many as were called by grace, and displayed the first zeal, having cast aside their military girdles, but afterward returned, like dogs, to their own vomit ... let these, after they have passed the space of three years as hearers, be for ten years prostrators." (109) Marpeck likewise claims that to participate in the "Lord's Supper [as] a sharing in the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ," we must be "willing and ready to do good to friends and enemies." (110) Therefore, rather than use the "sword of steel," (111) a wayward parishioner who neglects his or her own purity must be subjected to the ban, with separation from the Lord's Supper constituting a principal component. (112) In addition to the purity of the Theotokos reflected in the purity of the Church, the ban is therefore a further motivation for self-examination before receiving the Eucharistic Gifts.

We see clearly, then, how excommunication identifies peacemaking as comprising the purity that enabled the Theotokos to worthily bear God in her womb and that allows the communicant to absorb the body and blood of the resurrected Christ in our "members, our veins, and our heart." (113) Furthermore, by identifying the unworthiness of the soldier to partake of Holy Communion, it becomes incongruous to speak affirmatively about the violent behavior that provokes this excommunication. When we speak about violence and its causes, then, let us have this prayer of St. Silouan as a foil to discern the virtues and passions that compete for control of our hearts:
 O merciful Lord, by your Holy Spirit teach us
 to love our enemies, and to pray for them with tears.

 O Lord, send down your Holy Spirit on earth
 that all nations may know you, and learn your love.

 O Lord, as you yourself prayed for your enemies,
 so teach us, too, by your Holy Spirit, to love our enemies.

 O Lord, all people are the work of your hands--turn
 them from enmity and malice to repentance,
 that they may know your love.

 O Lord, you commanded us to love our enemies,
 but it is hard for us sinners, if your grace is not with us. (114)

(1) Harold S. Bender, The Anabaptist Vision (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1944), pp. 20-29.

(2) Timothy George, "The Spirituality of the Radical Reformation," in Jill Raitt, ed., Christian Spirituality: High Middle Ages and Reformation, World Spirituality: An Encyclopedic History of the Religious Quest 17 (New York: Crossroad, 1987), p. 340.

(3) Pilgram Marpeck, "The Admonition of 1542," in William Klassen and Walter Klaassen, eds. and trs., The Writings of Pilgram Marpeck, Classics of the Radical Reformation (Scottdale, PA, and Kitchner, ON: Herald Press, 1978; Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1999) [hereafter WPM], p. 249.

(4) Ibid.

(5) Bblical quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

(6) Marpeck, "Admonition," p. 275; emphasis in original.

(7) On the concept of diastema (distance) in the thought of St. Gregory of Nyssa, e.g., see Hans Urs von Balthasar, Presence and Thought: Essay on the Religious Philosophy of Gregory of Nyssa (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1995), pp. 27-35, 59, 82, 104, and 141. On diastema and infinite progress or the "diastema of real becoming," see especially pp. 81-82, 104-105, and 140-141, n. 55.

(8) Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004) [hereaRer ANF], 1:35.

(9) Ibid., 1:50.

(10) Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, tr. William Moore (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004) [hereafter NPNF 1], 12:146.

(11) Casimir McCambley, tr., "Saint Gregory of Nyssa: Peri teleiotetos--On Perfection," Greek Orthodox Theological Review 29 (Winter, 1984): 362.

(12) Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, rev. ed. (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1995 [orig., 1979]), pp. 22-23 and 74.

(13) Theodore Stylianopoulos, ed., My Orthodox Prayer Book (Brookline, MA: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, 1985), p. 82.

(14) John Anthony McGuckin, The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to Its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture (Malden, MA, and Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell Publishing, 2008), p. 402.

(15) Ibid., p. 403.

(16) Ware, Orthodox Way, pp. 113-117.

(17) Ibid., p. 113.

(18) Ibid., pp. 113-114.

(19) G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware, ed. and tr., The Philokalia, vol. 2 (London: Faber and Faber, 1984 [orig., 1981]), p. 389.

(20) Ware, Orthodox Way, p. 115.

(21) Ibid.

(22) Ibid., pp. 115-116.

(23) From Archimandrite Sophrony, St. Silouan the Athonite (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1991), p. 290.

(24) Ibid., p. 297.

(25) Ware, Orthodox Way, p. 116.

(26) Ibid.

(27) Alvin Beachy, The Concept of Grace in the Radical Reformation (Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1977); and Thomas N. Finger, "Anabaptism and Eastern Orthodoxy: Some Unexpected Similarities?" Journal of Ecumenical Studies 31 (Winter-Spring, 1994): 67-91.

(28) Menno Simons, "The Spiritual Resurrection," in J. C. Wenger, ed., The Complete Writings of Menno Simons, tr. Leonard Verduin (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1956), p. 58.

(29) Dirk Philips, "Enchirdion," in Cornelius J. Dyck, William E. Keeney, and Alvin J. Beachy, ed. and tr., The Writings of Dirk Philips (1504-1368), Classics in the Radical Reformation (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1992), p. 145.

(30) Hans Denck, "Whether God Is the Cause of Evil," in George H. Williams and Angel M. Mergal, eds., Spiritual and Anabaptist Writers: Documents Illustrative of the Radical Reformation, The Library of Christian Classics 25 (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1977), p. 101.

(31) Finger, "Anabaptism and Eastern Orthodoxy," p. 80.

(32) Stephen Blake Boyd, Pilgram Marpeck: His Life and Social Theology (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1992), p. 71.

(33) Pilgram Marpeck, "A Clear Refutation," in WPM, pp. 62-63.

(34) Ibid., p. 62.

(35) Ibid., p. 63.

(36) John D. Rempel, The Lord's Supper in Anabaptism: A Study of the Christology of Balthasar Hubmaier, Pilgram Marpeck, and Dirk Philips, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History 33 (Waterloo, ON, and Svottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1993), p. 29.

(37) Thomas N. Finger, A Contemporary Anabaptist Theology: Biblical. Historical, Constructive (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), p. 191. See also Rempel, Lord's Supper, pp. 144-145.

(38) Marpeck, "Admonition," p. 195; emphasis in original.

(39) Rempel, Lord's Supper, p. 145.

(40) Finger, Contemporary Anabaptist Theology, p. 193.

(41) Pilgram Marpeck, "The Unity of the Bride of Christ," in WPM, p. 522. Cf. Ware, Orthodox Way, p. 74.

(42) Marpeck, "Unity," p. 523.

(43) From Sophrony, St. Silouan the Athonite, p. 319.

(44) Alexander Khomiakov, The Church Is One (New York: Div. of Publications, Archdiocese, Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church in America [American Orthodox Mission], 1953), p. 20.

(45) (Archbishop) Gregory Afonsky, Christ and the Church (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2001), p. 6.

(46) Ibid., p. 19.

(47) McGuckin, Orthodox Church, p. 289.

(48) Khomiakov, The Church Is One, p. 17.

(49)Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1976), pp. 144-145 and 147ff.

(50) Jim Forest, "Albanian Resurrection," posted December 11, 2004, on the website of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship, In Communion; available at

(51) St. Theophan, "Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians," in Tolkovanie: poslaniia sv. apostola Pavia: k Efeseiam (Moscow, 1893), pp. 123-124, quoted in Afonsky, Christ and the Church, p. 23.

(52) George, "Spirituality of the Radical Reformation," pp. 340-341.

(53) See Robert Friedmann, "Gelassenheit," in Harold S. Bender and C. Henry Smith, eds., The Mennonite Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Reference Work on the Anabaptist-Mennonite Movement, vol. 2 (Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House, 1956), pp. 448-449; C. Arnold Snyder, Anabaptist History and Theology: Revised Student Edition (Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press, 1997), p. 125.

(54) George, "Spirituality of the Radical Reformation," pp. 339-340.

(55) Quoted in Friedmann, "Gelassenheit," p. 448.

(56) Snyder, Anabaptists History, p. 152.

(57) Marpeck, "Admonition," p. 267.

(58) The Didache was first published in 1883 after it had been discovered by Philotheos Bryennios in the eleventh-century manuscript, Codex Hierosolymitanus 1056. See William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, vol. I (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1970ff.), p. 1.

(59) Alexander Schmemann, The Eucharist (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1988), pp. 141-142; emphasis in original. Cf. John Chrysostom, "Homily XXIV on I Cot. X 13," NPNF 1, 12:140. See also Wemer O. Packull, Hutterite Beginnings: Communitarian Experiments during the Reformation (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), p. 206.

(60) Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations (Oxford, U.K., and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1996), pp. 188-189.

(61) Finger, Contemporary Anabaptist Theology, p. 191; cf. p. 190. See also Rempel, Lord's Supper, p. 145.

(62) Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1982), p. 37.

(63) Archimandrite Vasileios of Stavronikita, Hymn of Entry: Liturgy and Life in the Orthodox Church, tr. Elizabeth Briere (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1984), p. 59.

(64) ANF 1:185; Patrologia Graeca 6:427-8B-C.

(65) Quoted in Paul Evdokimov, "The Eucharist--Mystery of the Church," in Michael Plekon and Alexis Vinogradov, eds. and trs., In the World, of the Church: A Paul Evdokiraov Reader (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2001), p. 268.

(66) Quoted in ibid., p. 253.

(67) Quoted in Afonsky, Christ and the Church, p. 16.

(68) See Rempel, Lord's Supper, pp. 120-121.

(69) Marpeek, "Admonition," p. 195; emphasis in original. Cf. Finger, Contemporary Anabaptist Theology, pp. 191 and 166.

(70) Marpeck, "Admonition," p. 269.

(71) Schmemann, For the Life of the World, pp. 129 and 144.

(72) Finger, Contemporary Anabaptist Theology, p. 192.

(73) Ibid. Cf. Johann Loserth, ed., Pilgram Marbecks Antwort auf Kaspar Schwenckfeld Beurteilung der Bundesbezeugung von 1542, Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte der oberdeutschen Taufgesinnten im 16. Jahrhundert (Vienna and Leipzig: Fromme, 1929), p. 515.

(74) Rempel, Lord's Supper, p. 145.

(75) Ibid.

(76) Ibid.

(77) Marpcck, "Admonition," pp. 274-275; emphasis in original.

(78) Ibid., p. 274. See also Pilgram Marpeck, "Judgment and Decision," in WPM, p. 314.

(79) John Rempel, ed. and tr., "Pilgram Marpeck's Response to Caspar Schwenckfeld's dudgment," in Walter Klaassen, Wemer Packull, and John Rempel, trs., Later Writings by Pilgram Marpeck and His Circle: The Expose, A Dialogue, and Marpeck's Response to Caspar Schwenckfeld, Anabaptist Texts in Translation (Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press, and Scottdale, PA, and Waterloo, ON: Herald Press, 1999), p. 89.

(80) "Marpcck, "Admonition," p. 275; emphasis in original.

(81) Rempel, "Marpeck's Response," p. 113; emphasis added. Marpeck nevertheless again admitted that "the Lord Christ was from eternity, as Spirit, Word, and in his divine nature" (p. 114).

(82) Ibid., p. 126.

(83) Ibid., p. 113.

(85) Ibid.

(85) Ibid., p. 126.

(86) Pilgram Marpeck, "Concerning the Lowliness of Christ (1547)," in WPM, p. 447. Cf. Finger, Contemporary Anabaptist Theology, p. 192, n. 171.

(87) Rempel, "Marpeck's Response," p. 126.

(88) Ibid., p. 128.

(89) Balthasar Hubmaier, "Apologia," in H. Wayne Pipkin and John Howard Yoder, ed. and tr., Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism, Classics in the Radical Reformation 5 (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1989), pp. 537-538. Cf. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, tr. William Moore (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004) [hereafter, NPNFII], 6:334-346.

(90) Pilgram Marpeck, "Men in Judgment and the Peasant Aristocracy (1547)," in WPM, p. 467; emphases added.

(91) Marpeck, "Admonition," p. 269; emphasis added.

(92) Ibid.

(93) Ibid.

(94) Ibid., p. 270.

(95) Ibid.

(96) Ibid., p. 271.

(97) Ibid., p. 270.

(98) Ibid.; emphasis in original.

(99) Ibid.; emphasis in original.

(100) Ibid., p. 292; see pp. 292-296.

(101) Ibid., p. 296.

(102) Hugh Wybrew, Orthodox Feasts of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary: Liturgical Texts with Commentary (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2000), p. 43. Cf. "The Protevangelion," in The Lost Books of the Bible (New York: Testament Books, 1979), pp. 28ff.

(103) Marpeck, "Admonition," p. 296; emphasis in original.

(104) Rempel, "Marpeck's Response," pp. 114-115; cf. p. 129.

(105) Ibid., p. 115.

(106) Marpeck, "Admonition," p. 296.

(107) Canon XIII of Canons of Basil, NPNF II, 14:605.

(108) ANF 5:488.

(109) NPNF II, 14:27.

(110) Marpeck, "Admonition," p. 296; emphasis in original.

(111) Ibid., p. 267; emphasis in original.

(112) Ibid., p 296.

(113) Quoted in Evdokimov, "Eucharist," p. 253.

(114) From Sophrony, St. Silouan the Athonite, 276.

Andrew P. Klager (Eastern Orthodox Christian) holds a B.A. from Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, BC; an M.A. from McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON; and a Ph.D. in religious studies (2011) from the University of Glasgow, with a dissertation on Balthasar Hubmaler and the church fathers. He has also completed online certificate courses through the United States Institute of Peace in 2012 on conflict resolution and negotiation, in interfaith and international settings. Since 2011 he has been a sessional instructor at the University of Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC; during 2011 he was an adjunct at Rocky Mountain College, Calgary, AB, and an instructor at Simon Fraser University, Bumaby, BC. He has also lectured at Regent College, Vancouver, BC, and at Columbia Bible College. In 2006-07, he was an archivist and researcher for the Mennonite Historical Society of BC. He is currently working on a volume in the Herald Press series, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History. His essays have appeared in two edited volumes and in several Mennonite journals, as well as in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review He contributed 104 articles on histories of Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren churches in BC to the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopaedia Online ( He has presented papers at several professional societies, including at a meeting of the Mennonite-Orthodox Dialogue (in Lancaster, PA, 2009). Recipient of several travel grants, scholarships, and fellowships, he is currently working on articles on Mennonites and peacebuilding.
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Author:Klager, Andrew P.
Publication:Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2012
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