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Models of the Church [Paperback]

By Avery Dulles (Author)
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Item description for Models of the Church by Avery Dulles...

Examines the contemporary writings of Protestant and Catholic ecclesiologists to discuss the basic functions of the Church and assess its role in the lives of believers

Publishers Description

There is today a dramatic reexamination of structure, authority, dogma -- indeed, every aspect of the life of the Church is held up to scrutiny. Welcoming this as a sign of vitality, Avery Dulles has carefully studied the writings of contemporary Protestant and Catholic ecclesiologists and sifted out six major approaches, or "models," through which the Church's character can be understood: as Institution, Mystical Communion, Sacrament, Herald, Servant, and, in a recent addition to the book, as Community of Disciples. A balanced theology, he concludes, must incorporate the major affirmations of each. "The method of models or types," observes Cardinal Dulles, "can have great value in helping people to get beyond the limitations of their own particular outlook and to enter into fruitful conversation with others... Such conversation is obviously essential if ecumenism is to get beyond its present impasses."
This new edition includes a new Appendix and Preface by the author.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Image
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.25" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.88"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 1991
Publisher   Image
Edition  Expanded  
ISBN  0385133685  
ISBN13  9780385133685  

Availability  15 units.
Availability accurate as of May 27, 2017 02:37.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Avery Dulles

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., the first U.S. theologian named to the College of Cardinals, is known both nationally and internationally as a preeminent Catholic scholar, teacher, and theologian. He lives in New York City and holds the McGinley Professorship of Religion and Society at Fordham University. His writings over the past half-century have helped to shape the face of theological reflection in the post-Vatican II Church.

Avery Dulles has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Image Classic

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Ecclesiology
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Models of the Church?

Thought Provoking And Understandable  May 5, 2008
For those of you who have an interest in theology, but have little formal training in the discipline, I am your reviewer. "Models of the Church" provides the general reader with a work which is thought provoking but, with some effort, understandable.

Cardinal Dulles begins this book with an outline of five models of the Church: Institution; Mystical Communion; Sacrament; Herald; and Servant. The Institution Model emphasizes the visible structure of the Church. The Mystical Union emphasizes its unity as the People of God joined together in Him. The Sacrament emphasizes the Church's role as a mediator of grace. As Herald, the Church proclaims the Word of God. As Servant, it exists to serve God's people. In each section the model is explained and the strengths and weaknesses are examined.

After explaining the models, Cardinal Dulles how each shape the view of the Church's relationship to Eschatology, other Churches, the Ministry, Revelation and the discernment of the True Church. He then wraps it all up in his model as the Church as the Community of Disciples.

I think that this book will help me understand the Church and its different aspects. As I contemplate the mystery of the Church, I will have some guidance in how to go about it. It can do the same for you.
Models of the Church  Mar 23, 2006
This book was in excellent condition and I received it very quickly. Would definitely recommend this seller.
An honest appraisal of 5 Church models  Nov 16, 2004
Just based on the number of sentences I've underlined, "Models of the Church" is one of the most logical and readable books about Catholic ecclesiology that I have every read. Cardinal Avery Dulles lays out the pros and cons for 5 model of the Church -- Church as Institution, Mystical Communion, Sacrament, Herald and Servant. Later he looks at the Church as a Community of Disciples. The models are evaluated on their basis in Scripture, their link to Catholic traditional teaching (including Vatican II) and their resonance with the modern world. Dulles' presentation is thoroughly sane and "unchurchy", describing the pros and cons of each model fairly and honestly. Dulles also examines each model in light of its approach to eschatology, revelation and its ecumenical fitness.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants an honest look at a variety of valid means for imaging the Church. Dulles is the kind of Catholic churchman who is certain enough of his faith that he is willing to judge his Church dispassionately, letting let the chips fall where they may.
A Good Overview  May 17, 2003
In this book, Dulles offers a simplistic yet useful overview of the way the church has been viewed throughout its history. He focuses primarily on the Catholic church. From Dulles' analysis, there are five basic ways to understand the church. He explores how these models have been used over time, as well as their particular strengths and weaknesses. In the rest of the book, Dulles explores some of the issues surrounding ecclesiology. He has also added a new model which is a synthesis of the other five. My only complaint about the book is that it makes divisions too simple and straightforward. Rarely is there a church that fits all of the descriptions of one model or does not somehow combine several models. The book is helpful, however, to pastors who seek to understand the thought patterns of the members of their church. It is also helpful to congregants who desire to understand more fully what it means to be the church. All things considered, this book is an asset to pastors, students, and anyone involved in ministry.
Old but never dated  Jun 24, 2001
First copyrighted in 1974, this five-way look at the Church expanded the viewpoint of many Catholics beyond the institutional model. It is a pretty easy read, with very little in the way of intense or primary-source theology. I recommend it for teachers of secondary students to help them cope with the various questions adolescents ask about the Church.

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