The Eucharist as a Countercultural Liturgy
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About "The Eucharist as a Countercultural Liturgy"
Since its institution, the Eucharist has been celebrated in all churches regardless of denominational differences. Yet its importance should not be just confined to the Christian communities; it can have transformational power in the cultural milieu. In this book, Yik-Pui Au argues that the Eucharist can be a countercultural liturgy that upholds the identity and values of Christianity by countering cultural currents that are contrary to the Christian faith. Au takes an interdisciplinary approach comprised of church history, ritual theory, and theology of culture to examine systematically the countercultural functions of the Eucharist interpreted by three modern theologians, Henri de Lubac, John Zizioulas, and Miroslav Volf, representing the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions respectively. The comparative evaluation of this cross-tradition analysis supports Au's argument that even though culture is complex and changing, the countercultural function of the Eucharist remains valid. Despite its complexity, culture can be transformed by the Eucharist and it can also challenge and renew our understanding of the Eucharist. She suggests that due to its richness, the countercultural function of the Eucharist cannot be exhausted by one tradition. It is the task of theologians to help the church continually venture to explore and vivify this function ecumenically. ""Yik-Pui Au's book is a theological tour de force that brings together the theologies of the Eucharist of three modern theologians--a Roman Catholic, an Orthodox, and an Evangelical--to explore their implications for a countercultural stance. Drawing on church history, ritual theory, and theology of culture, Au develops a eucharistic theology that promotes a countercultural understanding of the Christian faith and a Christian practice in favor of justice, peace, and ecological integrity. I most strongly recommend the book and wish it a widespread readership."" --Peter C. Phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Department of Theology, Georgetown University ""To those who appreciate the Eucharist as something central to Christian life here is an exciting book. Yik-Pui Au examines the countercultural potential of the Eucharist and does so by examining that potential historically, ritually, and theologically in the ecumenical context of the theologies of three important theologians: Henri de Lubac, John Zizioulas, and Miroslav Volf. She does this in a sensitively critical and insightfully comparative way. This is an important book for those interested in the empowering function of the central liturgy of Christianity in its critique of contemporary culture, its individualism, totalitarianism, hierarchy, anthropocentrism, and social exclusion. I recommend it enthusiastically."" --Anselm K. Min, Professor of Religion, Department of Religion, Claremont Graduate University Yik-Pui Au is the co-winner of the First East-West Theological Forum Prize in 2015. Her award-winning paper on Volf is incorporated in chapter 5 of this book. In 2006 she received the Claude H. Thompson Award (for acts of justice and reconciliation) from Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Au holds an MTh from Emory University and a PhD from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.