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The Oxford Handbook of Sacramental Theology

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As a multi-faceted introduction to sacramental theology, the purposes of this Handbook are threefold: historical, ecumenical, and missional. The forty-four chapters are organized into the following five parts: Sacramental Roots in Scripture, Patristic Sacramental Theology, Medieval Sacramental Theology, From the Reformation through Today, and Philosophical and Theological Issues in Sacramental Doctrine.

Contributors to this Handbook explain the diverse ways that believers have construed the sacraments, both in inspired Scripture and in the history of the Church’s practice. In Scripture and the early Church, Orthodox, Protestants, and Catholics all find evidence that the first Christian communities celebrated and taught about the sacraments in a manner that Orthodox, Protestants, and Catholics today affirm as the foundation of their own faith and practice. Thus, for those who want to understand what has been taught about the sacraments in Scripture and across the generations by the major thinkers of the various Christian traditions, this Handbook provides an introduction. As the divisions in Christian sacramental understanding and practice are certainly evident in this Handbook, it is not thereby without ecumenical and missional value. This book evidences that the story of the Christian sacraments is, despite divisions in interpretation and practice, one of tremendous hope.

  • Provides a multi-faceted introduction to sacramental theology
  • Introduces readers to the historical roots and development of Christian sacramental worship
  • Written by an international team of authors who are leading practitioners of the discipline
  • Sacramental Roots in Scripture
  • Patristic Sacramental Theology
  • Medieval Sacramental Theology
  • From the Reformation through Today
  • Dogmatic Approaches
  • Philosophical and Theological Issues in Sacramental Doctrine
Theology is not intended to be only a conversation for specialists. If it is, as The Oxford Handbook of Sacramental Theology reveals, meant to help interpret, illuminate, and guide the church’s life together. May preachers of every theological stripe embrace this way of thinking about how theology works in the church...

Theology Forum

This volume is a magnificent achievement, unrivaled in both its breadth and its brevity. The fifty contributors, all experts in their fields, cover a huge expanse of history and scholarship, while still managing to make this knowledge accessible to the interested and motivated reader.

—Gregory Soderberg, Journal of Reformed Theology

This text will prove to be a standard resource for sacramental theologians, and perhaps the first place to turn for those who want to ask-even if for the first time-why and how Christians have always believed that God works in and through matter.

Reading Religion


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