Durheim's Christ's Gift, Our Response offers readers on both sides of the Tiber an opportunity for theological enrichment. The theology of Luther and his contemporary interpreters is set alongside that of the contemporary French Catholic Chauvet, a thinker influenced by postmodern philosophy and such heirs of Lutheran thought and Heidegger and Nietzsche. Durheim does not argue for a unified thesis concerning the Eucharist and ethics but rather demonstrates where Chauvet and Luther, Catholics and Protestants, and postmoderns and late medievalists can begin to see each other as sources of insight. Such is necessary for those who wish both to increase their own faith and to work toward a more unified Christian community.
Dr. Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth, Professor of Philosophy, Mount Mary University
Building on the principle in ecumenical dialogue of an exchange of gifts, Durheim develops a methodology of theological enrichment by which an awareness of theological resonances may lead toward mutually beneficial insights. His study of the sacramental theology and ethics of Luther and Chauvet gives flesh to this methodology, thus not only exposing and advancing current thinking about these two theologians but also helping to build bridges between Lutherans and Roman Catholics today. Readers interested in ecumenical engagement, sacramental theology, Christian ethics, and the interrelations of these three will appreciate Durheim's fresh approach.
Karen Westerfield Tucker, Boston University
This very timely and creative work brings together key items on the contemporary theological scenesacraments, ethics, ecumenism, and the approaching anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It sparks flashes of new insight into theology and the practical Christian life. Durheim repositions the heirs of the great reformer Martin Luther and of Catholicism's Thomas Aquinas, replacing the original Reformation battle over faith and works, grace and free will, individual believer and sacramental system with a rich exchange. Here, differences yield a mutual expansion of horizons, not a standoff of mutual condemnation. Durheim's fresh and unusual sacramental theology speaks to the global justice questions so vital to today's faithful and their churches. For both Luther and Louis-Marie Chauvet the sacraments mediate God's gift of transformed Christian action. With Chauvet, Durheim insists that faith is meaningless without commitment to social justice; with Luther, he reminds us that progress is entirely reliant on God's grace. Christ's Gift, Our Response will reward all who value the integration of theology, liturgy, and life.
Lisa Sowle Cahill, Boston College
In this book, Benjamin Durheim builds bridges, creatively and with sensitivity, for theological resonance between thinkers one might rarely see in dialogue-Martin Luther and Louis-Marie Chauvet. His analysis of their theology, their questions and tensions, opens up areas of surprising consensus and continued challenges. Durheim is able, to use his own phrase, to establish a common basis for theological exchange in the connection between sacraments and ethics.'
Dirk G. Lange, Associate Professor of Worship, Luther Seminary
"[Durheim's] model of setting up a stage for conversation is one that ought to be valued and replicated in the milieu of celebrating the work of reform in the Christian Church."
Stephen S. Wilbricht, Catholic Books Review