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BOOK REVIEWS 735 intentions of the biblical authors may prove to he quite theologically productive. Why the primacy of recontextualization? Is this a halfgenuflection to the historical-critical method? But here my comments are becoming too serious and beginning to distract from the wise lessons this book has to teach. I applaud Jodock's achievement, and I am grateful for it. MICHAEL L. RAPOSA Lehigh University Bethlehem Pennsylvania The Sacraments of Initiation. By LIAM G. WALSH, O.P. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1988. Pp. xii + 317. This work faithfully reflects the intent of the new Theology Library series to present " post-Vatican II perspectives on the perennial concerns of Christian theology." Both by theological training in Ireland, France, and Rome as well as by teaching experience at the Angelicum (Rome) and now at the University of Fribourg, Liam Walsh is particularly well suited to have authored this helpful work. Many features will make this book most useful as a text for an introductory university or seminary course on sacraments: its clear outline, lucid style, bibliographies , and study questions. While the book offers little that is really new about sacraments in general, two particular aspects of its contents are worth noting. The :first is Walsh's introduction about "rite, word and life." This methodological key offers a slant on sacraments that situates their celebration within the context of the human life of Ll-ie participant and relates them to life lived outside religious rituals and prayer. Here the author sets up the method he will follow later on in the book when he devotes two chapters to each of the initiatory sacraments: baptism, confirmation, and eucharist. In each case, the :first chapter discusses what the present rite of that sacrament discloses theologically (what he terms a " liturgical theology"); the second chapter recounts what "the word" discloses about the meaning of the respective rites (from the scriptures through to Vatican II). The chapters on particular sacraments are introduced by two chapters on sacraments in general (" Bjblical Orientations " and "Rites Called Sacraments") and are followed by an an Epilogue about relating sacramental theology to catechesis and preaching. The second characteristic to recommend this book is its irenic tone, especially when dealing with the impetus which the ecumenical movement has given to contemporary sacramental theology. 736 BOOK REVIEWS The Introduction offers a phenomenologically-influenced and anthropologically -grounded approach to studying the sacraments. It would have been more helpful if some of the insights offered here were developed more fully in the chapters following and thus showed the pertinence of these methodological approaches to the individual sacraments considered there. As it stands, the anthropological slant offered in the Introduction is rather isolated since the balance of the hook is a study of sacraments that is more faithful to the classical shape of sacramental theology, with revelation, ritual, and church teaching as its sources. Words and terms that have been classically used in Catholic sacramental theology are used here with a frequency not found in comparable contemporary hooks on sacraments. Thus Walsh is unafraid to deal with notions of sacramental character, causality, and validity. In some ways these discussions remind one of sections from Bernard Leeming's Principles of Sacramental Theology. However, this is not to suggest that Walsh's work is fundamentally flawed or not contemporary . Throughout he faithfully cites Vatican II documents, the present liturgical rites of sacraments, and postconciliar documentation. One contribution that Walsh makes in this hook is to review classical tenets of Roman Catholic teaching, to examine and interpret them for their usefulness today, lest they reflect only a Tridentine appreciation of sacramental theology. At times, however, post-Tridentine language about " receiving " sacraments dominates over references to the assemhly 's full, active, and conscious participation in the rites. The hook is amply documented and its bibliographies are generally up to date. However, the author should have used and cited the second edition of the Ordo baptismi parvulorum of 1973, not the first edition of 1969. Since Walsh cites a number of English and French works, the paucity of German works is all the more noticeable. One area that is repeatedly skirted (except for the treatment of the eucharist ) is the evolution of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 735-737
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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