'Bridging the Gap'

The Christian Sacraments and Human Belonging

By Roger Grainger

The Bible and the sacraments go together as the cornerstone of Christian identity. Wherever Christianity is practiced in traditional ways, converts are baptized and bread is broken together. Countless books have been written about the theological significance of these events, but their strictly human meaning and value - as ways of helping people to make sense of themselves and enjoy their lives together - has sometimes been overlooked. The sacraments are, first and foremost, signs of belonging, to God and with one another. They are sacramental not only because of the circumstances surrounding their origin, but also because of their function in incorporating the personal belonging to which they point. Bridging the Gap explores the human side of sacrament - the emotional hunger which it addresses, what this means from a theological point of view, and what it still means for us today, despite all the changes which have taken place over the ages in the world in which we live. By looking at the way human beings relate to one another, we can begin to see the amazing relevance of these traditional ceremonies - their God given ability to heal our personal woundedness and bring to the forefront the reality of belonging together in community. The significance of sacramental worship for human growth and development is examined, using insights gained from the anthropological study of religion. The contribution to psychological health and the establishment of individual identity through personal relationship is identified as the basis of our sense of belonging. Bridging the Gap proceeds from the conviction that a better understanding of the dynamics of our belonging would contribute to the Church's mission within a fragmented society.


112 pages

Publication Date: 3/12/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781845195120


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