The notion of priesthood remains a potential source for controversy in the church today. In Jesus Our Priest, the authors use high scholarship standards to focus the nature of the priesthood on the role of Christ, putting arguments about Church power and position in their proper perspective.
In recent years many books have been published in the area of Christology (who is Jesus in himself?) and soteriology (what did he do as Saviour?). A number of notable, ecumenical documents on Christian ministry have also appeared. But in all this literature there is surprisingly little reflection on the priesthood of Christ, from which derives all ministry, whether the priesthood of all the faithful or ministerial priesthood. This present work aims to fill that gap by examining, in the light of the Scriptures and the Christian tradition, what it means to call Christ our priest.
Beginning with a study of the biblical material, the book then moves to the witness to Christ's priesthood coming from the fathers of the Church, Thomas Aquinas, Luther and Calvin, the Council of Trent, the seventeenth-century 'French School', John Henry Newman, Tom Torrance and the Second Vatican Council. The two concluding chapters describe and define in twelve theses the key characteristics of Christ's priesthood and what sharing in that priesthood, through baptism and ordination, involves.
Now professor emeritus after teaching for 33 years at the Gregorian University (Rome), Gerald O'Collins, s.j., is known around the world as a visiting professor and popular lecturer. Thus far he has published 52 books, many of which have been translated into foreign languages. In 2006 he was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), the highest Australian civil award. In his writings and lectures he successfully combines profound scholarship with accessible language.
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