PLURALITY AND DIVERSITY AS UNITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

ECCLESIOLOGICAL AND ECUMENICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR ANGLICAN–ROMAN CATHOLIC RELATIONS

  • Samuel Obu Salesian Ratisbonne
Keywords: Dialogue, Diversity, New Testament Ecclesiology, Plurality, Synodality, Uniformity, Primacy, Unity

Abstract

Christianity started as a radical movement in Judaism, later spread among non-Jewish communities, and became a ‘universal’ phenomenon. As it encountered different cultures at different times, the pluralistic nature of Christianity broadened. The singular event that threw wide open the floodgates of pluralism was the Reformation. Influenced by political, doctrinal, cultural, intellectual and economic factors, many Christian denominations were founded. Unfortunately, these Christian confessions were at times antagonistic towards each other, condemned and persecuted each other and even waged wars against each other. This dark history of Christianity is against the prayer of Jesus to the Father for his followers: “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21) One of the means of handling the crisis of disunity of Christians is an attention to the developmental manner of being church, rooted in the person of Jesus Christ and guided by the gospel. With particular attention to the Anglican-Roman Catholic relations, this article presents a theological dogmatic approach that sees the unity of the ecclesial community as genuine plurality and legitimate diversity. 

Author Biography

Samuel Obu, Salesian Ratisbonne

Samuel Obu, a Ghanaian, is a priest member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He obtained his licentiate in Sacred Theology from Saint Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, Ireland, with specialization in Ecclesiology. He has a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, Italy, with specialization in Ecumenism, focusing on Anglican-Roman Catholic relations. Presently he is a professor of ecclesiology and ecumenism at the Salesian Pontifical University, Jerusalem Campus. His email ID: ebinada@hotmail.com

References

Harding Meyer and Lukas Vischer, ed., Growth in Agreement I, New York: Paulist Press 1984.

E. Schweizer, “Unity and Diversity in the New Testament Teaching Regarding the Church,” Theology Today 13, 4 (1957).

E. Käsemann, “Unity and Diversity in New Testament Ecclesiology,” Novum Testamentum 6, 4 (Nov. 1963).

W.H. Gloer, “Unity and Diversity in the New Testament Anatomy of An Issue,” Biblical Theology Bulletin 13, 2 (1983).

J.D.G. Dunn, “Unity and Diversity in the Church: A New Testament Perspective,” Gregorianum 71, 4 (1990).

J.D.G. Dunn, Unity and Diversity in the New Testament, London: SCM 1990.

R.E. Brown, “Not Jewish Christianity and Gentile Christianity but Types of Jewish/Gentile Christianity,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 45, 1 (1983).

M. Myllykoski, “James the Just in History and Tradition: Perspectives of Past and Present Scholarship (Part I),” Currents in Biblical Research 5, 2 (2006).

J. Danièlou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1964;

B.J. Malina, “Jewish Christianity or Christian Judaism: Toward a Hypothetical Definition,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 7, 1 (1976).

S.K. Riegel, “Jewish Christianity: Definitions and Terminology,” in New Testament Studies 24 (1977-1978).

R.A. Pritz, Nazarene Jewish Christianity from the End of the New Testament Period until Its Disappearance in the Fourth Century, Leiden: Brill, 1988.

R.E. Brown, “The Unity and Diversity in New Testament Ecclesiology,” Novum Testamentum 6, 4 (1963)

H.D. Betz, “The Birth of Christianity as a Hellenistic Religion: Three Theories of Origin,” The Journal of Religion 74, 1 (1994).

P. Borgen, Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1996.

J.C. Beker, Paul’s Apocalyptic Gospel: The Coming Triumph of God, Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1982;

D.C. Sim, Apocalyptic Eschatology in the Gospel of Matthew, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

M.L. Soards–J. Marcus, Apocalyptic and the New Testament: Essays in Honour of J. Louis Martyn, London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

J.P. Davies, Paul among the Apocalypses?: An Evaluation of the “Apocalyptic Paul” in the Context of Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature, London: Bloomsbury, 2016.

D.J. Downs, “‘Early Catholicism’ and Apocalypticism in the Pastoral Epistles,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 67, 4 (2005).

J.H. Elliott, “A Catholic Gospel, Reflections on Early Catholicism in the New Testament,” in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 31 (1969).

I.H. Marshall, “Early Catholicism in the New Testament,” in R.N. Longenecker–M. C. Tenney, ed., New Dimensions in New Testament Study, Grand Rapids, MN: Zondervan, 1974.

C.C. Black, “The Johannine Epistles and the Question of Early Catholicism,” Novum Testamentum 28 (1986)

K.M.Y. MacDonald, “Early Catholicism,” in R. J. Coggins–J. L. Houlden, ed., A Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990.

R.P. Martin, “Early Catholicism,” in G.F. Hawthorne et al., ed., Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993

H. Neufeld, “Frühkatholizismus,” in M. Buchberger–W. Kasper, ed., Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, vol. III, Freiburg: Verlag Herder, 1995.

R.E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, New York: Doubleday, 1997.

D. Burkett, An Introduction to the New Testament and the Origins of Christianity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Orientale Lumen (May 2, 1995), in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 87 (1995).

D. Marguerat, The First Christian Historian Writing the ‘Acts of the Apostles,’ K. McKinney et al., transl., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Y. Congar, Diversité et Communion, Paris: Édition du Cerf, 1982.

P. Avis, Reshaping Ecumenical Theology: The Church Made Whole, London: Bloomsbury, 2010

J.A. Mackay, “Church Order: Its Meaning and Implications,” Theology Today 9, 4 (1953).

F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, Grand Rapids, MN: Eerdmans, 1984;

E. Best, Ephesians, Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993

R.P. Martin, “Reconciliation and Unity in Ephesians,” Review and Expositor 93 (1996)

J.P. Heil, Ephesians Empowerment to Walk in Love for the Unity of All in Christ, Leiden: Brill 2007.

J.A. Barnard, “Unity in Christ: The Purpose of Ephesians,” The Expository Times 120, 4 (2009).

B.M. Metzger, “Seventy or Seventy-two Disciples?,” New Testament Studies 5, 4 (1959).

I.J. du Plessis, “The Church before the Church — Focusing on Luke 10:1-24,” Neotestamentica 32, 2 (1998)

Z.J. Cole, “P45 and the Problem of the ‘Seventy(-two)’: A Case for the Longer Reading in Luke 10.1 and 17,” New Testament Studies 63, 2 (2017)

F.W. Beare, ‘The Mission of the Disciples and the Mission Charge: Mt. 10 and Parrells,” Journal of Biblical Literature 89, 1 (1970)

A.B. Caneday, “The Parable of the Generous Vineyard Owner (Matthew 20:116),” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 13, 3 (2009)

E. Vearncombe, “Redistribution and Reciprocity: A Socio-economic Interpretation of the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20.1-15),” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 8, 3 (2010)

N. Eubank, “What does Matthew Say about Divine Recompense? On the Misuse of the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (20.1-16),” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 35, 3 (2013)

J.A. Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, in Anchor Yale Bible, vol. XXXII, ed. W.F. Albright – D.N. Freedman, Yale: Yale University Press, 2008.

Commission on Faith and Order, The Church: Towards A Common Vision, Geneva: WCC Publications 2013.

Published
2019-12-31
How to Cite
Obu, S. (2019). PLURALITY AND DIVERSITY AS UNITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. Asian Horizons, 13(04), 659-670. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/ah/article/view/2279