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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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The Church as Communion

The Church as Communion

March 31, 1993

(p.129) 10 The Church as Communion
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

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

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