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The Fractured Body: The Eucharist and Anglican Division

Eugene R. Schlesinger

This article confronts the ongoing reality of intra-Anglican divisions, both in North America and within the broader Anglican Communion. Beginning with a treatment of Augustine of Hippo’s doctrine of the totus Christus, I suggest that the proper criterion for ecclesial communion is the recognition of one another as members of Christ, rather than doctrinal or ethical teachings. I then supplement this criterion with a definition of ecclesial unity drawn from Ephraim Radner. The church’s unity is not a unity of consensus, but a unity that embraces even one’s enemies. Finally, I propose a reading of the eucharistic fraction rite that synthesizes its twin dimensions of sacrifice and communion. This understanding of the rite opens up the imaginative space for an emergence of the will to reunion.

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