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Christ and the Catholic Priesthood: Ecclesial Hierarchy and the Pattern of the Trinity

Matthew Levering

The leading figures of the Enlightenment and the Reformation (and leading up to Catholic theologians of our own day) have subjected Catholic understanding of ecclesial hierarchy and sacramental mediation of the priesthood to a withering critique. Christ and the Catholic Priesthood: Ecclesial Hierarchy and the Pattern of the Trinity will establish the foundation for a theology of the hierarchical priesthood based on the hierarchical order of the Trinitarian gift, of love. Matthew Levering's brilliant original study systematically analyzes in detail the nature of Christ's priesthood, Christian hierarchical priesthood, and sacramental mediation.

The book's five chapters approach the topic of hierarchy in the Church through Trinitarian and soteriological reflection, unified by dialogical engagement with the biblical, patristic, and metaphysical resources of St. Thomas Aquinas's theology.

Contents:

Introduction
Chapter One: Hierarchical Priesthood and Trinitarian Communion
Chapter Two: The Priesthood of Christ
Chapter Three: The Priesthood of the First Christians
Chapter Four: Priority or Primacy in the Church
Chapter Five: Sacramental Mediation
Conclusion

"Only a courageous theologian would defend a hierarchical authority for the church today. Only a charitable and generous theologian could offer a compelling defense. Matthew Levering accomplishes just this. He offers a bold and daring thesis--a hierarchical priesthood is necessary because of God's gifting in the priesthood of Christ. It is not primarily about teaching, service, function or a juridical jurisdiction, but obedience to the apostolic mandate to communicate Christ's presence through the Eucharist. By carefully listening to theologians from the Anabaptists to the Orthodox, Levering masterfully draws on scripture, Dionysius, Aquinas, and Church teaching to make his case. This book should serve as the 'state of the question' for this most important matter that all Christian communities must confront for the sake of Christ's mission in an increasingly secularized world."

--Stephen Long, Professor, Department of Theology
Marquette University

"Matthew Levering has completed a work that few theologians in America would have dared to undertake. With serene objectivity he engages the current Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic literature, as well as the thought of Aquinas and the doctrine of the New Testament. He presents the hierarchical structure of the Church in its full trinitarian, Christological, and sacramental context; and he shows convincingly that the priestly, episcopal, and papal ministry belongs to the very nature of the Church.
Its felicitous division between the main text and an abundance of scholarly footnotes enables the reader to assimilate the content at various levels of depth. This book is a must for any student of ecclesiology and sacramental theology."

--Roch Kereszty, O Cist std, Professor of Theology
University of Dallas

"Professor Matthew Levering's Christ and the Catholic Priesthood is a 'must read' not only for priests, seminarians, theologians, and theology students, but also all who desire to enter into a profound questioning and conversation with Catholic wisdom traditions on the priestly mystery of Christ and his Church. Catholic and ecumenical in scope, the book is a clear and compelling introduction to the theology of the priesthood. This work is an important contribution to the renewal of reverent worship at the holy sacrifice of the Mass so earnestly encouraged by Pope Benedict XVI."

--Matthew Lamb, Chair, Department of Theology
Ave Maria University

About the author:
Matthew Levering is a Professor of Theology at the University of Dayton. During 2006-2007, he held the Myser Fellowship at the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of three highly acclaimed books on scripture and St. Thomas. His forthcoming books include Participatory Biblical Exegesis, Biblical Natural Law, and Christ and the Catholic Pristhood: Ecclesial Hierarchy and the Pattern of the Trinity (Hillenbrand Books, 2010). He has also co-authored two books with Dr. Michael Dauphinais and coedited several other works, including most recently Vatican II: Renewal within Tradition, Aquinas the Augustinian, and Wisdom and Holiness, Science and Scholarship. Dr. Levering is the coeditor and cofounder with Dr. Dauphinais of the English version of the international theological and philosophical journal Nova et Vetera. He is the founding Chair of the Board of the Academy of Catholic Theology. He holds the degrees of B.A. from the University of North Carolina, M.T.S. from Duke Divinity School, and Ph.D. from Boston College.

Hardcover, 6 x 9, 350 pages
This title is part of the Hillenbrand Books imprint, Studies series.

978-1-59525-029-2
Order Code: HCCP

Sale Price: $39.95
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