Archives For Eucharist

 

William Cavanaugh - BEING CONSUMEDHere’s a superb theological reflection for Black Friday…

An 11-minute video introduction to:

Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire.

William Cavanaugh

Paperback. Eerdmans, 2008.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

A 2008 Englewood Honor Book
[ Read our review… ]


Part I:



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Read an excerpt from Norman Wirzba’s excellent new book…

We recommend chapter 5, “Eucharistic Table Manners”,
though Google should let you look at other parts of the book too.

Food and Faith:
A Theology of Eating
.
Norman Wirzba
Paperback: Cambridge UP, 2011.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]

 

“A Pre-History of the Lord’s Table”

A Review of

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist
By Brant Pitre
.

Reviewed by Michelle Van Loon.

[ Read an excerpt from this book… ]

JESUS AND THE JEWISH ROOTS OF THE EUCHARIST - PitreJesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist:
Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper
.
Brant Pitre.
Hardback: Doubleday Religion, 2011.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

It was the first Sunday of the month, which meant it was time for communion at the non-denominational church my family attended at the time. At best, our once-a-month communion of broken matzo and plastic thimbles-full of syrupy grape juice on was usually treated as a postscript to the service. At worst, it was a rushed affair that made the church service a few minutes longer. I think church leaders spent more of their platform time recruiting volunteers to fill those little cups than they did explaining why we “remembered” Christ in this way each month.

Is this really what Christ had in mind when he offered the matzo and cup to his friends during the final Passover Seder he celebrated with them and said, “Do this in remembrance of me?”

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An excerpt from

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist:
Unlocking the Secrets of The Last Supper
.
Brant Pitre.
Hardback: Doubleday Religion, 2011.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

[ Read our review above…  ]

 

A Review of
Barbies at Communion and Other Poems.
By Marcus Goodyear.
Paperback: T.S. Poetry Press, 2010.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Thomas Turner.

What strikes the reader most about Marcus Goodyear’s poetry is the immediate action of the poetry. The action is simultaneous with the writng, as if Goodyear was dictating the present in lines like a sportscaster gives a play-by-play on a baseball game. The effect of Goodyear’s poetry is not immediately deep or penetrating but matter-of-fact, a pronouncement of ordinary life in poetic lines.

This lack of impact is Goodyear’s modus operandi as he seeks to find meaning in the commonplace and mundane. If anything, the poetry in this collection testifies to the fact that anything, and I mean anything, can become sharp and fragrant with meaning when in the hands of a poet.

In order to capture the commonplace in his poetry Goodyear must deconstruct the sacramental into its common elements. He strips away the layers of meaning from figures of Christ and the Eucharist, leaving only “saltless crackers / and shots of grape juice” along with “Jesuses in the attic / after Christmas.” Goodyear removes the metaphorical in order to let the literal stand naked before us, and in a twist of his poetic prowess, he uses his steady syntax and phrasing to build up an image from the deconstructed literal. This is most evident in the titles of his poems, which give direction to the meaning that Goodyear delivers in his poetry of ordinary life.

Goodyear can accomplish this poetic game of stripping down to the literal and building up again because of his clever use of conceit. The reader (this review included) can so easily be lulled into the normalcy of Goodyear’s images, only to discover that in his recounting of a seemingly dull event there is a deep beauty and majesty to the everyday and ordinary. Goodyear showcases this deft skill in poems such as “Drought on the Open Road,” in which he writes:

Once the herd was so thirsty

they ate the burn right off

the interstate shoulder, two bites

from asphalt and cars flying

75 miles to nowhere.

Heat paralyzed cows

never look up.

In the singular image, which Goodyear commands so well, the poet offers up a commonplace moment that hinges on so much. In the isolated event of cows inching ever closer to the highway Goodyear pushes the reader to contemplate the chain reactions caused by a singular event. In essence, Goodyear’s simplicity of poetry is a conscious statement to the irreducible complexity of life, that complex weather systems can cause a drought that eventually leads a herd of cattle into the dangers lurking on an isolated patch of Texas highway.

The power of Goodyear’s poetry is thus in his ability to hold so much back, to be so reserved as a poet that he lets the multiple meanings of words burst out from the pages. In essence, he lets the poetry, and not the poet do the work. He does not seek to answer the mystery as other poets do, but stays in the realm of plain sight and plain poetry. As he himself writes, “Where the mystery is / too great, give us flesh.”

 

A Review of

Worshiping With the Church Fathers.
Christopher Hall.
Paperback: IVP Academic, 2010.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

[ Read an excerpt of this book here… ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

Christopher Hall - Worshipping with the Church FathersWorshiping with the Church Fathers is the third volume of Christopher Hall’s four volume work on the Church in its earliest centuries.  This new volume, looks specifically at the sacraments of baptism and Eucharist, the practice of prayer and the spirituality of the desert fathers.  His objective is:

To present as clearly as possible the fathers’ understanding of what worship is and what it isn’t.  I have tried to allow them to speak for themselves, to present their case and then to encourage readers to make their own decisions as to the validity of the particular patristic viewpoints.

Hall does a fine job both of achieving his stated goal of letting the Church Fathers speak for themselves and of providing enough context through which the reader can understand the writings of the Fathers.  The book’s first two chapters explore the roles of baptism and the Eucharist respectively, with a particular emphasis on the sacramental (and material) nature of both practices.  Hall explains that the material nature of the sacraments is rooted in the incarnation of Christ:

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“Look Around You!”

A Review of
The Sacred Meal
(
Ancient Practices Series).
By Nora Gallagher.

Reviewed by Ragan Sutterfield.

The Sacred Meal
(
Ancient Practices Series).
Nora Gallagher.

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2009.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

The Sacred Meal - Nora Gallagher“Instead of thinking of that Communion as a ghoulish eating of human flesh, think of those who gather at Communion as the body of Jesus…This is my body, he said.  Look around you.”  Looking around is exactly what Nora Gallagher does as she explores the ancient practice of Communion in her new book The Sacred Meal.  This book is one of the latest releases in the “Ancient Practices” Series edited by Phyllis Tickle, and like the other books in the series its aim is to ask us to remember, renew and recollect the essential practices of the Church such as prayer, fasting, and Sabbath-keeping.  Communion as a subject however has challenges that go beyond most ancient practices.  Communion, as we have seen over the history of Christianity, is a source of great division, a means of exclusion as much as embrace.  Nora Gallagher certainly had her work cut out for her in approaching this subject, but she answers the call beautifully.

Rather than centering on all of the ins and outs of the “real presence,” transubstantiation and consubstantiation, Gallagher focuses on her story as it connects with Communion because, as she says in the introduction, it “is the only story I can truthfully tell.”  By reflecting on her own story Gallagher opens up the experience of Communion in all of its complexity, banality, and surprise.

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ERB Editor Chris Smith
Reviews Nora Gallagher’s THE SACRED MEAL

http://weblog.englewoodcc.com/?p=72

The “Ancient Practices” series from Thomas Nelson – with its deep historical rooting and careful theological attentiveness – is rapidly becoming one of my favorite ongoing series of books. Thus, I was pleased to see the release of two new volumes. The first of these volumes is Nora Gallagher’s THE SACRED MEAL, which explores the meaning of the practice of Eucharist (or communion, as it is called here Englewood and in many other churches). Gallagher eloquently reflects upon the communal nature of the Eucharist, the stages of participating in the Eucharist (waiting, receiving and afterward) and then explores the theological meaning of the bread and the cup as it has been honored in various traditions at various times in church history.

Read the full review:
http://weblog.englewoodcc.com/?p=72

The Sacred Meal (Ancient Practices Series).
Nora Gallagher.

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2009.
Buy Now: [ ChristianBook.com ]


The POPMatters Review of
Chris Wickham’s The Inheritance of Rome:
Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000


http://bit.ly/596oPD

The Roman Empire and the Renaissance loom large on the timeline of human history, two great epochs of accomplishment and achievement that demonstrate our ability to shape and exert control over our world. The Middle Ages, so titled because they exist between those two monumental pillars of civilization, are often seen as the inverse, when humankind languished in an uncertain, anarchic world.

Chris Wickham, professor of medieval history at Oxford, challenges this point-of-view, arguing that the Middle Ages must be considered not just as a speed bump on the path of progress but rather on its own merits, as a complex and intricate system that emerged in response to a changing environment. His book, The Inheritance of Rome, is a very meticulous, overwhelmingly detailed account of an era largely unfamiliar to modern readers. It is, at times, exhausting and cluttered, but also laden with interesting passages that shed light on this volatile period in history.


Read the full review:
http://bit.ly/596oPD

The Inheritance of Rome:
Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000.

Chris Wickham.

Hardcover: Viking, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


ORION Magazine Reviews Poet Charles Wright’s
Newest Collection, SESTETS

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/review/4954/

THE POEMS in Wright’s astonishing nineteenth collection of poetry serve as a loyal lighthouse to the reader: a sure and steady beam that pulses, discovers, and searches out—all while allowing the reader that important and necessary pause to let his lines haunt and delight. When one thinks of “sestets,” six-lined poems, one would normally assume compression and density of taut lines. Not so: these expansive and gratifying poems often perform a sort of intimate “aside” to the reader. Wright breaks or “drops” the line part way into a singular line, as if to nudge the reader to pause for a bit and contemplate the themes of mortality and nature that often appear in these poems. What comes after the visual drop on the page is usually a somber reflection or a surprising twist on the previous image. The poems are almost bursting with notions of what it means to be at once at odds and in harmony with nature, and the visual drop deftly allows for this juxtaposition. Consider: “This is the light its wings dissolve in / if it ever gets out from underground.”

Read the full review:
http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/review/4954/

SESTETS: Poems.
Charles Wright.

Hardback, FSG, 2009.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

 

In our continuing effort to fund the publication and free distribution of The Englewood Review, we are going to be collaborating more intentionally with Christian Book Distributors.  Primarily, we will be offering you the opportunity to buy bargain books from CBD that we think of are interest.  Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition.  You get great books for a great price,  CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD.  These books make great gifts!

 

This week’s bargain books (Click to learn more/purchase):

  • Out of Egypt: Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation.  Craig Bartholomew, et al. (Hardback) $4.99 – Save 88%!!!
  • A Holy Meal: The Lord’s Supper in the Life of the Church.
    by Gordon T. Smith
    (Paperback)   $3.99 – Save 73%!!!
  •  Liberating the Future: God, Mammon and Theology.
    Joerg Rieger, editor (Paperback)   $3.99 – Save 78%!!!
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    Earlier this summer, we had the opportunity to sit down with Will Samson and chat over Twitter about his newest book, Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess (Click here for our review).  We have cleaned up the text of the interview and are posting it here.

    Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess.
    Will Samson.

    Paperback: David C. Cook, 2009.
    Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

    The Englewood Review of Books (ERB):  Welcome to The Englewood Review’s Summer #Twinterview No. 3 ! Our guest today is Will Samson.  Will is the author of the new book ENOUGH: CONTENTMENT IN AN AGE OF EXCESS (David C Cook 2009) … Welcome, Will!

    Will Samson (WS):  Thanks for having me, Chris!

    ERB:ENOUGH opens with your own story. What have been a few key points on your journey from living the American dream to wrestling with consumerism?

    WS: The first major point along the way was reading Lesslie Newbiggin and thinking about the witness of the Church.  I came to believe that if all people knew of Jesus was the Church as I knew it, that we were all in trouble.  It looked nothing like Jesus.

    ERB: Why is our theology (especially our views of the endtimes) so important to how we think and live in a consumer culture?

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