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What Happens in Holy Communion?
POD; Published: 4/13/2000
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4602-0
Price: $ 25.99
208 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Catherine Keller
"Michael Welker here serves up his great theological gift to the 'work of the people.' If the eucharistic meal all too often leaves us empty, Welker's book offers pastors and seminarians indispensable liturgical nutrients. Indeed, an entire systematics encodes itself in this truly practical but never condescending theology."
Library Journal
"The meaning of Communion or Eucharist has long been one of the most hotly disputed questions in Christian theology and one of the likeliest to lead to schism. University of Heidelberg professor Welker should be commended for his courage in stepping into this dogmatic lion's den and making the bravest possible attempt to discover a practice, a meaning, and a reward in the ritual re-enactment of Jesus' last meal that would satisfy the spiritual needs of believer in many denominations, Protestant and Catholic. . . This is a thoughtfully written book on a difficult subject, and readers looking to understand this knotty problem should get a great deal from it."
William Schweiker
"In this exciting new book Michael Welker addresses a basic question in Christian faith and practice: What happens in holy communion? With historical sensitivity and theological acumen, Welker deftly sets forth a vision of communion at once profoundly biblical and ecumenical, sustaining of faith yet advancing theological reflection. This is a powerful book by one of the most creative theological minds now working among us. It should be read and pondered by scholars, pastors, and anyone seeking to understand and live the richness of Christian faith."
Christian Century
"Welker's book will stimulate thinking and conversation on an issue that still divides the churches and requires clarification both in denominations and in local congregations."
Liturgical Ministry
"Welker's style is conversational, which makes the volume seemingly an easy read. But don't let that fool you. He deals with a number of issues (grouped under twelve questions that dictate the theme for each of the twelve chapters) with competence, insight, forthrightness, and courage. . . I recommend this volume for anyone engaged in ecumenical dialogue and for professors of sacramental and liturgical theology and their students, no matter what the denomination. . . The volume is a wonderful backdrop against which to clarify and sharpen one's own theology and pastoral practice of Eucharist or Holy Communion."
"Written by a scholar of the Reformed tradition, the work is thoroughly ecumenical in its perspective. Its organization is clear, its ideas challenging, and its language lucid. . . A substantive, comprehensive discussion of eucharistic thought and practice and also an introduction to inter-church dialogue about the Holy Meal, this book is as fine a place to start as any."
Westminster Theological Journal
"A comprehensive and insightful survey of the theology of the Supper, . . . could easily be used as a classroom text."
Theology Today
"Welker's book is among the most lively and provocative treatments of the Lord's Supper written by a Reformed theologian in many years. . . His book should be widely read by pastors, seminary students, and members of adult education classes in local congregations. It offers both challenge and help to churches that seek deeper understanding and renewing practice of the Lord's Supper."
Reformed Worship
"Pastors will find this a resource for preaching and teaching about the sacrament. Even readers who take issue with some of Welker's conclusions will find his book a welcome stimulus and helpful tool for thinking about how the shape of our celebrations of the sacrament might better reflect and express our theology."
The Princeton Seminary Bulletin
"It is encouraging when systematic theologians turn their attention and erudition to the worship and sacraments of the church. Given the twentieth century's ecumenical consensus on the eucharist, Welker's books signals that the time has now come for its further dogmatic testing and, in so doing, makes its own distinctive contribution."
Sacramental Life
"Welker's book accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do . . . and accomplishes the task in a clearly-written and inventive style. This book will be of great use for pastors of Reformed congregations (or perhaps even higher-liturgically-minded evangelicals) for adult classes, especially since Welker often speaks from his own context in the Reformed tradition."