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For the Life of the World

An Eastern Christian Approach to Nature and Environmental Care

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Robin Gibbons

For the Life of the World: An Eastern Christian Approach to Nature and Environmental Care explores climate change and global ecological issues via the ability of Christianity—one of the world’s most frequently practiced religions—to provide insight. Author Robin Gibbons outlines the tradition of prior Christian involvement in the issue, drawing upon ideas of freely given care and human stewardship of the world. Recently, the issue of climate change and the Christian community’s inability to act against it has been characterized by a disconnect between human life and nature, with the biblical model of human stewardship subsumed by politics, business, and greed. In contrast, this book advocates for embracing an older model of Christian thought, theoretically surmounting the consequences of climate disaster through care and respect for nature.

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Chapter 3. From the Eucharist—Aspects of the Divine Liturgy

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From the Eucharist—Aspects of the Divine Liturgy

The central act of historical Christian worship has always been the Eucharist, called also by various historical names including the Byzantine terminology of ‘The Divine Liturgy’. From earliest times this act has been a weekly celebration of Church assembled with its Lord, in clear ecclesiological and liturgical terms, and held on the first day of the week, our Sunday! Historical changes over time led to a more frequent celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy such as the normative Sunday celebration, with as many clergy as was possible present, deacons and deaconesses exercising their various ministries, and the presbyters concelebrating with the Bishop, to a more complex development of parochial liturgies with a few (or even one) priest and in later stages of liturgical evolution, particularly within Catholicism, weekday Eucharistic celebrations, especially during the later Middle Ages, became a regular and accepted feature of church life and practice, another significant shift coming from the (originally Cluniac-Benedictine) expansion of private masses in Western Catholic Christendom! Many of these developments did not take place in the east and there were significant differences in theological and liturgical approaches to this sacrament with the west where the eastern church kept to more traditional practices including concelebration by the priests, retention of the distinctive ministerial functions of←51 | 52→ the ‘orders’ of clergy that were not duplicated by another, for example the East has never allowed a priest to act in place of a...

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