“Our Heaven Begun Below”: A Contemporary Theology of Eucharistic Sacrifice in the Wesleyan Tradition
In 1984, The United Methodist Church adopted a new eucharistic rite which asserts that Christians “offer ourselves…as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us.” The language of sacrifice employed here is much stronger than that of any of the previous rites used by the Church, or any of its successors, as far back as the first English rite written by Thomas Cranmer. While the Cranmerian rite calls for a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, the new rite calls for the communicant to offer themselves as a “holy and living sacrifice,” a change which calls for a significant shift in religious values: no longer is simply praise and thanksgiving demanded, but holy—that is, ethical—living.
Unfortunately, however, while this language, in principle, calls for a real change in religious values, the true liturgical, theological, and ethical implications of this language have been only marginally embraced or wholly ignored by United Methodists. This dissertation seeks to construct a theology of eucharistic sacrifice for The United Methodist Church based on the claims made in its own rite which is both consistent with the denomination’s Wesleyan heritage and sensitive to concerns raised by feminist theologies.
Bruce D Marshall
William J Abraham
Mark W Stamm
Heather Murray Elkins
Religion, Theology/Religious Education
Number of Pages
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Moore, Geoffrey C., "“Our Heaven Begun Below”: A Contemporary Theology of Eucharistic Sacrifice in the Wesleyan Tradition" (2020). Religious Studies Theses and Dissertations. 20.
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