Sacrament

An Economic Reading of Luther on the Eucharist, or How a Sacramental Economics Made Matter Matter in New Ways

“Our words and practices, including the ways we celebrate Eucharist and the public policies we support and advocate for, have consequences for our broader relationships with matter. If the finite bears the infinite (finitum capax infiniti), then attention to the finite cannot be fleeting or unjust: matter matters. To state my claim even more strongly: violence against the finite is to build the cross anew. Following Schweitzer, there may be tragic choices we must make where “life-willing-life” cannot simply be left to be. Nonviolence is norm but not absolute. But the violence of economic inequality of the scope evident in contemporary U.S. society is contrary to the spirit of the Eucharist. U.S. inequality does real harm to the real presence of Christ. Indeed, global economic inequality, paired with climate change denial, may–if the Earth’s climate changes as rapidly as some scientists now predict, lead to a world with no bread, no wine, no body, no blood.”

Response to “An Economic Reading of Luther on the Eucharist, or How a ‘Sacramental Economics’ Made Matter Matter in New Ways”

“Two brief words regarding the format of this response: given the nature of the gathering, I thought it best to respond to John Pahl’s paper with questions to prompt further discussion. That format is preserved below. Think of this response as a way to probe Pahl’s claims and their implications. Also, my questions and critique assume the Lutheran confessional writings as authoritative, hence my implicit appeal to them in the final paragraph.”

Preaching Justice: The Ethical Vocation of Word and Sacrament Ministry

This article is James Childs’ address from February 4, 1998, when he was installed in the newly established Sittler Chair. Copyright © 1998 TRINITY SEMINARY REVIEW, Trinity Seminary. Used with permission. From Trinity Seminary Review, Number 20, Spring/Summer 1998. [1] I am keenly aware that whatever shine is on me is that of reflected glory […]