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Cokesbury

Breaking Bread

The Emergence of Eucharist and Agape in Early Christian Communities
  • By Alistair C. Stewart
$37.99
($49.99)
Product Description

What's the difference between eucharist and agape? And how did each come to be?

The liturgies of early Christians are often obscure and variegated in the historical record. This is especially true of the eucharist, where the basic practice of communal eating is difficult to disentangle from other contemporary meals, whether Greco-Roman or Jewish practices--or the ill-defined agape meal.

In Breaking Bread, Alistair C. Stewart cuts through scholarly confusion about early Christian eating. Stewart pinpoints the split in agape and eucharist to the shift in celebrating the eucharist on Sunday morning, leading to the inception of agape as an evening meal. The former sought divine union, the latter, communal harmony. In the final chapter he explores a breadth of Syriac, Greek, and Latin primary sources on a variety of local eucharistic traditions, tracing their development into the familiar prayers and distribution of token amounts of bread and wine, which emerged in the third century.

Nuanced and well-researched, Breaking Bread clarifies the development of the blessed sacrament and its lesser-known counterpart. Theologians and historians of early Christianity will find Stewart's work foundational in approaching a topic of enduring scholarly interest but elusive consensus.

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    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9780802883025
    • Manufacturer: William B Eerdmans Pub Co
    • ISBN 13: 9780802883025
    • Publication Date: 06/27/2023
    • Format: Hardcover
    • Author: Alistair C. Stewart

     
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