Show Less
Restricted access

The Church as Hermeneutical Community and the Place of Embodied Faith in Joseph Ratzinger and Lewis S. Mudge


Mary McCaughey

This book adds new impetus to ecumenical theology by focusing on embodied faith or the contextual interpretation of Revelation. It does so through an exploration of the insights of Lewis S. Mudge and Joseph Ratzinger. Mudge advocates catholicity as a hermeneutic which embraces the contextuality of faith in local contexts, including Christian communities and the religious practice of those of other Abrahamic faiths. Through his use of semiotics and social theory, Mudge offers novel ways to interpret faith lived as redemptive existence.
Since for Joseph Ratzinger Revelation can never be fully confined to rational statements, it is nevertheless expressed in living praxis. This relates to his view of wisdom, Tradition, truth and the sensus fidei. Ratzinger focuses on embodied faith in Christian experience, the lives of the saints, New Ecclesial Movements and the plurality of different expressions of faith in synchronic unity.
This study encourages the reader to explore the Church as a sacrament of redemption through contextuality and embodiment. Through the writings of two authors with contrasting and yet complimentary approaches, it highlights the transformative potential of Christianity which can serve as a point of ecumenical learning.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter Three: Lewis S. Mudge on the Church as Hermeneutical Community

← 130 | 131 → CHAPTER THREE


This chapter focuses on Lewis Mudge’s view of Church as a hermeneutical community. It firstly explores (1) Lewis Mudge’s life and theological background; (2) theological influences on Mudge’s ecclesiology and explorations of the social reality of the Church focusing on the influence of Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Eric Troeltsch. It also explores (3) influences upon Mudge’s reading of embodied existence in its symbolic expressions; (4) Mudge’s ecclesiology and view of the Church as a hermeneutical community; and his view of (5) the Church, redeemed social existence and Tradition and also how Mudge sees the contribution of (6) structures of authority as part of the Church as hermeneutical community.

Lewis Seymour Mudge, Jr, a scholar, professor and pastor in the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PCUSA) published widely in the field of ecumenics and ecclesiology up to his passing on September 11th, 2009. At the time of his death, he was Robert Leighton Stuart Professor of Theology, Emeritus, at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley.

← 131 | 132 → Mudge was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Lewis Seymour Mudge Senior and Anne Evelyn Bolton. Like his father, Mudge was ordained a pastor for the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States. In 1957, he married Jean McClure and together they had three children, Robert, William and Anne. His theological desire to connect the everyday language of human life to Christianity was no doubt influenced...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.