By Miroslav Volf
In After Our Likeness, Miroslav Volf explores the connection among people and neighborhood in Christian theology. He seeks to counter the traits towards individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and provides group its due.
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Additional info for After Our Likeness: The Church As the Image of the Trinity
From this it also follows that the totality is to be conceived from the principle "single individual," a principle grounded both soteriologically and christologically. " There can be but one redeemer for the whole world;161 any plurality of redeemers would necessarily involve their respective particularity. Christ's singularity follows from his universality, and this singularity then constitutes the foundation of the unity of the church as his body. 163 154. See Ratzinger, Das neue Volk, 219. 155.
174 It is hard to dispute Ratzinger's main point, though what is secondary can either facilitate or hinder access to what is primary, can correspond to or contradict it. Moreover, structures could be created that are not foolproof but whose functioning must not necessarily presuppose unrealistic ethical maturity. In this sense, neglect of institutional reality and concentration on spirituality and morality risk passing by the important problems of church lifers 169. Concerning the significance of spirituality in Ratzinger's ecclesiology, see Fahey, "Ratzinger," 82.
169 Before examining the relation between the trinitarian and ecclesial communion, I must address Ratzinger's understanding of the position of believers within the church; first, however, a comment about reform in the church. Spirituality is Ratzinger's answer to the desire for reform in the church. Vicarial authority deriving only from the whole, from Christus totus, basically determines the structure of the church. Once the structure of the church is established, a structure willed by the Lord and which alone allows Christ to act within the church, then reforms affecting essentials can only involve either the correct ecclesiastical "functioning" of this same structure or spirituality.