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Opening the Table: The Body of Christ and God's Prodigal Grace

Stephen Edmondson


This article, a theologically thick description of opening the eucharistic table to all, is rooted in Aidan Kavanaugh’s conviction that liturgical theology is primarily that “knowledge” of God generated by the encounter of Christian congregations with God in the liturgy. Thus, this work began with a working group of four Open Table Episcopal parishes reflecting together on what they have found of God, Christ, church, and grace within their practice. The vision that emerged from this reflection was centered in a complex theology of grace and response inherent in Christ’s parable of the Prodigal Son. This central commitment was, moreover, structured around intuitions concerning the universal status of all persons as God’s children, the relational character of grace, the communal character of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, a Christocentric ecclesiology defining the church by the commitments at its center, and a missional understanding of baptism.

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