In graduate theology programs across the United States and elsewhere, Maxwell Johnson's The Rites of Christian Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation has become a standard text. Now Johnson and Paul Bradshaw together offer a companion volume on the historical development of the liturgy and theology of the Eucharist.
Like the earlier volume, this study proceeds historically, from the origins of the Eucharist up to our own day. Unlike most studies of this kind, it includes an introduction to and developmental summary of the diverse eucharistic liturgies of the Christian East. It also explores the various Western rites (Ambrosian, Gallican, and Mozarabic) in addition to the Roman.
With regard to theological themes, the authors give special attention to the topics of real presence (including the "consecration" of the bread and wine) and eucharistic sacrifice, the most central and most ecumenically challenging issues since the sixteenth-century Reformations.
Making the book especially teacher- and student-friendly are the summary points at the end of each chapter. Each chapter also contains an abundance of liturgical texts for ease of reference.
Paul F. Bradshaw is professor of liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, USA, an honorary canon of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, and a priest-vicar of Westminster Abbey. He has written or edited more than twenty books on the subject of Christian worship, together with over ninety essays or articles in periodicals. A former president of both the North American Academy of Liturgy and the international Societas Liturgica, he was also editor-in-chief of the journal Studia Liturgica from 1987 to 2005.
Maxwell E. Johnson is professor of liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, USA, and a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. His numerous publications are on the origins and development of early Christian liturgy as well as on current ecumenical theological questions, especially among Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans. He is the author and/or editor of over fifteen books and seventy essays and articles in books and journals. He is also a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, Societas Liturgica, and the Society of Oriental Liturgy.