Friday, April 29, 2011

Aaron James on language, Eucharistic identity, and the Baptist vision

Aaron James
Continuing a series of occasional posts calling attention to recent doctoral dissertations by Baptists and others in the broader free church tradition working at the intersection of ecclesiology and ecumenical theology:

Aaron James is Assistant Professor of Theology at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. His dissertation on "Analogous Uses of Language, Eucharistic Identity, and the Baptist Vision" (University of Dayton, 2010) was supervised by Brad J. Kallenberg.


I argue that attention to analogous uses of language, uses that constitute Eucharistic identity claims and James Wm. McClendon's articulation of the 'baptist' vision, shows there to be an intrinsic relation between the two, such that the 'baptist' vision and the identity claim of Jesus' body in the bread and in the church share an internal logic that is mutually illuminating of their real (i.e., not merely figural or symbolic) identity. Furthermore, it is the baptist vision itself that baptists ought fruitfully to offer as a constructive contribution to broadly catholic reflection on Eucharistic identity. After setting the context of my claim by a survey of recent Baptist engagements with broadly catholic tradition, I consider the work of Garth L. Hallett on identity claims, and David B. Burrell's work on analogous uses of language. I bring their insights to bear on the Eucharistic theology of Thomas Aquinas and the sixteenth Anabaptist theologian Balthasar Hubmaier, showing how attention to analogous uses of language provides constructive pathways to engage their claims. I then bring analogous uses of language in identity claims to bear on the baptist vision itself. There, I argue that attention to analogous uses of language in McClendon's theology of the Lord's Supper in light of the narrative reading strategy of Scripture by baptists sheds light on Eucharistic identity and the baptist vision itself.

Posts in this series:

Jeffrey Cary on Jenson, Williams, McClendon, and free church ecclesiology

Aaron James on language, Eucharistic identity, and the Baptist vision

Scott Bullard on Eucharist, Unity, and Baptists

Derek Hatch on Mullins, Truett, and de Lubac

Jonathan Malone on Baptists, Ordination, and Catholic "Sacramental Consciousness"

Cameron Jorgenson on "Bapto-Catholicism"

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Aaron! Glad to see you finished the dissertation. Keep sending good students from Cedarville down South. Glad to know you can show them they can be catholic and baptist!