Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

The Many Marks of the Church

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

The Many Marks of the Church

Article excerpt

The Many Marks of the Church. Edited by William Madges and Michael J. Daley. New London, Conn.: Twenty-Third Publications, 2006. 232 pp. $24.95 (paper).

The Many Marks of the Church goes far beyond one, holy, catholic, and apostolic to include conciliar, immigrant, sinful, and humorous. The brilliance of this book is that it highlights both historical and constructive perspectives, offering an introduction to ecclesiology that combines classical and contemporary theologies of the church. The book also serves to introduce the reader to some of the most prominent voices in theology today, with the list of authors including Martin E. Marty, Avery Dulles, Sallie McFague, and Monika Hellwig. These theologians are not only introduced as scholars, however; they are introduced as members of a living church, with each essay providing an introduction to their thought and to their personal histories. Many of the essays themselves integrate personal narrative with theological themes as they relate to a particular mark of the church, offering the reader insight into the author's own experience of church.

The reader will also benefit from encountering the diversity of ecclesiological perspectives presented in this book. While the majority of the authors come from a Roman Catholic perspective, the text includes essays from Protestant thinkers and the ecumenical thrust of the book is evident throughout. Furthermore, the book includes voices that may be located across the liberal-conservative spectrum that too often polarizes the church. For example, the book contains Michael Novak's perspective on the catholicity of the church as well as Jeannine Gramick s perspective on the discerning quality of the church. …

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