As a multi-faceted introduction to sacramental theology, the purposes of this Handbook are threefold: historical, ecumenical, and missional. The forty-four chapters are organized into the following parts five parts: Sacramental Roots in Scripture, Patristic Sacramental Theology, Medieval Sacramental Theology, From the Reformation through Today, and Philosophical and Theological Issues in Sacramental Doctrine. Contributors to this Handbook explain the diverse ways that believers have construed the sacraments, both in inspired Scripture and in the history of the Church's practice. In Scripture and the early Church, Orthodox, Protestants, and Catholics all find evidence that the first Christian communities celebrated and taught about the sacraments in a manner that Orthodox, Protestants, and Catholics today affirm as the foundation of their own faith and practice. Thus, for those who want to understand what has been taught about the sacraments in Scripture and across the generations by the major thinkers of the various Christian traditions, this Handbook provides an introduction. As the divisions in Christian sacramental understanding and practice are certainly evident in this Handbook, it is t thereby without ecumenical and missional value. This book evidences that the story of the Christian sacraments is, despite divisions in interpretation and practice, one of tremendous hope.
Hans Boersma (Ph.D. University of Utrecht) is the J. I. Packer Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. Before coming to Regent College in 2005, Boersma taught for six years at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. He also served several years as a Pastor. Boersma has written of a number of books, most recently Embodiment and Virtue in Gregory of Nyssa: An Anagogical Approach (Oxford University Press, 2013). He is also the author of Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry (Eerdmans, 2011) of Nouvelle Theologie and Sacramental Ontology: A Return to Mystery (Oxford University Press, 2009) and of Violence, Hospitality, and the Cross: Reappropriating the Atonement Tradition (Baker Academic, 2004). Matthew Levering is Perry Family Foundation Professor of Theology at Mundelein Seminary. He serves as co-editor of two theological quarterlies, Nova et Vetera and The International Journal of Systematic Theology. He has authored numerous books, including Predestination (OUP, 2011), Biblical Natural Law (OUP, 2008), and (with David Novak and Anver Emon) Natural Law: A Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Trialogue (OUP, 2014). With Matthew L. Lamb, he edited Vatican II: Renewal within Tradition (OUP, 2008). His works in sacramental theology include Sacrifice and Communion: Jewish Offering and Christian Eucharist (Blackwell, 2005) and Christ and the Catholic Priesthood (Hillenbrand, 2010). Since 2007 he has been Chair of the Board of the Academy of Catholic Theology.