Apostolicity Then and Now

Apostolicity Then and Now

An Ecumenical Church in a Postmodern World
John J. Burkhard, OFM Conv

ISBN: 9780814651216, 5121
Details: 264 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 11/01/2004


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Apostolicity Then and Now explores apostolicity from its origin to today. Apostolicity is a fundamental mark of the church, referring to Jesus' faith given to, carried on, and taught—unaltered—by a continuous line of apostles. This book primarily focuses on how apostolicity pertains to the church as a whole and views apostolic succession in light of how apostolicity is applicable to the church. Scriptural, historical, theological, and ecumenical contexts provide a thorough study that includes worldviews and their impact on apostolicity.

Chapters are "Who Were the Apostles?" “Why the Early Churches Understood Themselves as Apostolic,” “Apostolicity in History,” “Apostolicity and the Theologians,” “Apostolicity and the Classical and Modern Worldviews,” “Apostolicity in a Postmodern World,” “Apostolicity in Ecumenical Dialogue,” and “Apostolicity in an Ecumenical Church.”

John J. Burkhard, OFM Conv, PhD, is a teacher for the Education for Parish Service Program of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and Professor of Systematic Theology at Washington Theological Union. He is the translator of Imagining the Catholic Church written by Ghislain Lafont, and is a contributor to the journals New Theology Review and Worship published by Liturgical Press.

. . . a very able guide to the contemporary scholarly discussion of the concept of apostolicity
Theology Today

. . . provides excellent understandings of: apostle, apostolicity itself, including apostolicity of the church's origin, doctrine, life, history, and apostolicity as understood by contemporary theologians. Of special value is his review of the treatment of apostolicity in some recent ecumenical dialogues and the value of the developed understanding on many church-dividing issues, including that of ministry.

A very informative study of the church's apostolicity.

[T]his book sheds important light on apostolic succession in Lutheranism, on the question of the recognition of ministry, and on the notion of the church as fundamental sacrament. I strongly recommend it for those who want their theological muscles to have a bracing workout.
Scottish Journal of Theology

. . . a welcome addition to an upper level seminar focusing on the intricacies of ecclesiology. Moreover, it should be mandatory reading for seminarians in all Christian denominations, and for those members of the laity who envision a life of ministerial service.

This is, to the best of my knowledge, the first book that explores the implications of postmodernism—with its emphasis on pluralism, radical historicity, and relationality—for understanding the doctrine of apostolicity as the mark of the whole church, and not just of the twelve apostles and their successors. Biblically based, historically grounded, and elegantly written, the book offers a comprehensive view of the development of the doctrine of apostolicity from its earliest roots to its current ecumenical context. We are deeply indebted to Professor Burkhard for showing us how the apostolicity of the church is not a historical relic but a vital and vibrant reality through which we enter into communion with the Triune God.
Dr. Peter C. Phan, Ignacio Ellacuria S.J. Professor of Catholic Social Thought, Theology Department, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

In his excellent study, Apostolicity Then and Now, John Burkhard recounts the origins of the notion of apostolicity, how the concept evolved in history, what contemporary theologians and ecumenical experts have made of it, and what apostolicity means in our postmodern world.

Professor Burkhard's study of Apostolicity is a pioneering work that embraces the past, is relevant for the present, and reaches out into the future. His primary source is our common Christian Tradition, his working horizon, however, embraces the vast field of our contemporary intellectual movements. He is eminently erudite, he is balanced in his judgments, he is pastorally concerned—a rare combination of qualities. He fills a gap in theological investigations: I know of no recent study on Apostolicity that would equal his work in depth and breadth.
Ladislas Orsy, S.J., Professor of Canon Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.

This is a stimulating and accessible introduction to a complex theme which has in the past been a major problem for ecumenical theology but which might in a new context become part of the solution.

One of the better books on ecclesiology I have read in the past few years.