After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity by Miroslav Volf

By Miroslav Volf

In After Our Likeness, Miroslav Volf explores the connection among individuals and group in Christian theology. He seeks to counter the trends towards individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and provides neighborhood its due.

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170. Ratzinger, "Glaube," 538. 171. Ratzinger also speaks about the rights of individual Christians and about those of die community (see Ratzinger, "Demokratisierung," 38£), and he does mention the necessity of the practical "modes of mutual exchange and of mutual care" (Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 216); the center of gravity, however, resides in spirituality and service. 172. Ratzinger, Cemeinschaft, 140. 173. See Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 142, 189. 174. See Ratzinger, "Warum," 60. 175. See Legrand, Realisation, 216.

If this is the case, then the ecclesial communion, although indeed oriented toward love, is not constituted by love, at least not by the love exhibiting the basic structure derived from the Trinity. As underscored by the indispensability of "being from others," communion is constituted by standing in a relation of sacramental and for that reason also office-bound reception. Although this indeed can, following Augustine, be interpreted as love,153 it is another question entirely whether doing so illuminates or veils ecclesial reality.

Ratzinger, "Traditionsbegriff," 45. 120. See Ratzinger, "Buchstabe," 257. 121. ; Church, 70ff. 50 122. Ratzinger, "Offenbarung," 519. 123. , 577 (my emphasis). 124. Stallsworth, "Story," 118. Similarly already Ratzinger, Geschichtstheologie, 69, 83. 125. Stallsworth, "Story," 167. 126. See Ratzinger, "Buchstabe," 257. 127. Ratzinger, "Theologie," 516; cf. "Schriftauslegung," 21. 128. Ratzinger, "Schriftauslegung," 21. 129. See Ratzinger, "Glaubensvermittlung," 31. 51 AFTER OUR LIKENESS Ratzinger: Communion and the Whole church would take us far beyond the goal of the present critical analysis of Ratzinger's ecclesiology.

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