The Priesthood of the Plebs
336 Pages
English

The Priesthood of the Plebs

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336 Pages
English

Description

In this seminal treatise, Peter J. Leithart argues that the coming of the New Creation in Jesus Christ has profound and revolutionary implications for social order, implications symbolized and effected in the ritual of baptism. In Christ and Christian baptism, the ancient distinctions between priest and non-priest, between patrician and plebian, are dissolved, giving rise to a new humanity in which there is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. Yet, beginning in the medieval period, the church has blunted the revolutionary force of baptism, and reintroduced antique distinctions whose destruction was announced by the gospel. Leithart calls the church to renew her commitment to the gospel that offers "priesthood to the plebs."

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Published 16 October 2003
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EAN13 9781725241398
Language English
Document size 1 MB

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The Priesthood of the Plebs A Theology of BaptismPeter J. Leithart Wipf and Stock Publishers Eugene, Oregon
Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3 Eugene, Oregon 97401 The Priesthood of the Plebs A Theology of Baptism By Peter J. Leithart Copyright © 2003, Peter J. Leithart ISBN: 1-59244-404-0 Publication Date: October, 2003
Dedication
Acknowledgements
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface to the Published Edition
Original Preface to the Thesis
CHAPTER ONE: THE BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL
Out of the Shadows: Paschasius Radbertus
Vases Don't Cure the Sick: Hugh of St. Victor
Opus Operatumand Its Reformation Opponents
Marcion and Modern Sacramental Theology
 Mystery Religion and Eucharistic “Re-Presentation”
 Circumcision, Nationalized vs. Spiritualized
 Sacramental Theology and the Social Sciences
Symphony in Two Movements
Conclusion
CHAPTER TWO: ATTENDANTS IN YAHWEH’S HOUSE: PRIESTHOOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENTSolving the Equation
Ancient Near Eastern Parallels
What Does!hkDo?
 Standing to Serve
The Rite of Ordination
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 Filling the Hand
 Consecration
Conclusion
Table of Contents
CHAPTER THREE: BAPTISM TO PRIESTHOOD: APOSTOLIC CONJUGATIONS OF THE ORDINATION RITEUnion With theTotus Christus
Bodies Washed to Draw Near, Hebrews 10:19-22
Investiture With Christ, Galatians 3:27
The Sanctifying Wash, 1 Corinthians 6:11
Levi's Homage to Adam, Luke 3:21-23
 Priestly Messiah
 Baptized to Priesthood
Christs Christened Into Christ, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
Anointed Priests
Removing the Veil
Conclusion
CHAPTER FOUR: BAPTISMAL ORDINATION AS RITUAL POESISMaking Priests: The Liturgy of Initiation
 Holy Food for the Holy Ones
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THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE PLEBS  The Kingdom Belongs to Such as These
Sacramenta Causant Quod Significant
Baptismal Regeneration
 You Must Be Born Again
How Can Water Do These Wonders?
Conclusion
CHAPTER FIVE: THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE PLEBS
To the Jew First
And to the Greek
 Jew, Gentile, Barbarian, Greek
Conclusion
Addendum
CHAPTER SIX: O FOOLISH GALATIANS! WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU?Follow the Oil
The Return of Antique Order
The Gregorian Construction of Modernity
Conclusion
EPILOGUE: SUMMARY AND AREAS OF FUTURE RESEARCHFor Further Investigation  v
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BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Table of Contents
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TO JAMES B. JORDAN o[stijevkba,lleievktou/qhsaurou/auvtou/kaina. kai. palaia,
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  Many more have contributed to this project than I can know, but I wish to thank some of those whose help has been most evident. For financial support, I thank the Sessions of Cherokee Presbyterian Church, Woodstock, Georgia, USA, and of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Tom Singleton of the Nehemiah Foundation also provided a substantial grant, for which I am very grateful. Special thanks to the Session and people of Reformed Heritage Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, whose financial support, prayers, and friendship have meant much to me and my family. We are thankful also for the prayers and encouragement of the members of the Cambridge Presbyterian Church. Gilbert and Cindy Douglas and their family deserve special thanks for their extraordinary selflessness in handling many practical necessities “back home.” Thanks also to my parents, Dr. Paul and Mildred Leithart, who took on several tasks that made our life immeasurably easier. I am grateful to my wife, Noel, and my sons,
Jordan, Sheffield, Christian, and James, who curbed my almost infinite capacity for error by helping to check bibliography, citations, and Scripture references. Beyond that, Noel has long embodied true Christian sacrifice by her continual willingness to put others ahead of herself. May her good works ascend as fragrant incense. My intellectual debts are likewise more than the hairs of my head. Thanks to my supervisor, John Milbank, whose enthusiasm for my work was encouraging and astonishing in equal measure. Early on, Tim Jenkins and Stephen Buckland navigated me through the uncharted seas of cultural anthropology. Dr. Graham Davies and
The Priesthood of the Plebs Professor Robert Gordon read and made helpful comments on the material in chapter 2, and Dr. James Carleton Paget read and commented upon a draft of chapter 3. Jim Rogers, Joel Garver, Rev. Jeff Meyers, and Rev. Rich Bledsoe read substantial portions of the thesis; I appreciate their encouragement, insight, and advice, even when I, unwisely, did not take it. Interaction with Mark Horne has helped clarify a number of issues, and more general discussions with Michael Hanby and David Field were refreshing and challenging. Over a longer term, my theological imagination, such as it is, has been decisively shaped and reshaped by the work of James B. Jordan, who also commented extensively on an earlier draft of this work. As a small token of my debt and gratitude, I dedicate this thesis to him.
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