The Church as a Eucharistic and Prophetic Community in India: A Theological Exploration into the Challenges and Implications of a Eucharistic Ecclesiology Based on the Early Church and the Statements of the Indian Theological Association (ITA)
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
George S. Worgul, Jr.
Eucharistic Ecclesiology, Contextual Theology in India, Indian Theological Association, Eucharist
Theological trends change from time to time to make the faith more meaningful and relevant to the contemporary context. To an extent, the Second Vatican Council, by its commitment to two concepts, “ressourcement” and “aggiornamento,” succeeded in this mission in the last century. The communion ecclesiology of the Council, which has its foundation in the sacrament of Eucharist, shows that the centrality of the Eucharist in the Church cannot be overlooked, because the ecclesial body of the Church is built up by the Eucharistic body of Christ. Any Eucharist-centered ecclesiology is prophetic and eschatological by nature. The “Eucharistic” and “prophetic” dimensions of the Church are not exclusive as they are seen today. Rather, these are intertwined and mutually fulfilling. This was seen very strongly in the Church of the apostolic times, and this thrust continued in the writings of the Fathers of the Church. Though there are different models of ecclesiology, the Indian Church is in need of regaining the Eucharistic ecclesiology so that it can be more “prophetic” in India and face its challenges courageously. Even five decades after the Second Vatican Council, the teachings of the Council have not brought about many changes in the Indian Church. Though the Church tries to be involved in social issues, clericalism or hierarchism still adversely affects the Indian Church today. The Indian Theological Association’s indigenous ecclesiology serves as a mirror on the Indian Church, reflecting both the face of the Indian Church and the face of the country. In these reflections, the Church can engage herself in the cultural, social, economic, religious, and ecclesial context of India. I argue that if the Indian Theological Association would emphasize the centrality of the Eucharist in its indigenous ecclesiology, then its ecclesiology would be more prophetic and appealing to the Indian Church. In the pluralistic context of India, it would help the Indian Church to be challenged in its way of life and to become truly the Body of Christ and a prophetic witness to the nation.
Devasia, S. (2018). The Church as a Eucharistic and Prophetic Community in India: A Theological Exploration into the Challenges and Implications of a Eucharistic Ecclesiology Based on the Early Church and the Statements of the Indian Theological Association (ITA) (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1433