The Church as Communion

Avery Cardinal Dulles

in Church and Society

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228621
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236619 | DOI:
The Church as Communion

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This chapter, dedicated to the memory of Father John Meyendorff, discusses the unity of the Church and the Church as communion. As a mere term, communion does not say a great deal. It is an abstract word, generally signifying a relation of fellowship, even intimacy. In Christian usage, the term has come to be used primarily in the context of Holy Communion, the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ. The discussion looks into the historical foundations of communion, the decline and revival of communion theology, the impact of the revived communion theology on Vatican II, and the personalist and mystical approaches in Vatican ecclesiology. There is broad agreement today that the Church is a communion. The category of communion is ecumenically fruitful since it is widely accepted not only among Roman Catholics but also among Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans.

Keywords: communion; Vatican II; Vatican ecclesiology; Church unity; mystical approach

Chapter.  5057 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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