"Ecclesiology from below," as it operates in this work, is directed to history; it moves through the actual church of history to ecclesiology or to an understanding of the church both as it is and as it should be. In the first volume that passage was fairly explicit because comprehensive ecclesiologies in our sense did not exist. In this volume ecclesiology itself becomes much more directly the subject matter of the book, but without losing sight of concrete history and the degree to which these ecclesiologies are historically conditioned. Put somewhat differently, the main goal of this "comparative ecclesiology" is not simply to lay down one after another different ecclesiologies that emerged over the last five hundred years, although that describes the book with empirical accuracy. Its larger intent is to show the richness, vitality, and creativity of the whole church as it moves through history, adjusting to new times, places, and cultures.