Thursday, July 05, 2007
Torture and Eucharist (William Cavanaugh)
This was superb - a provocative and challenging exploration of both the failures of church to resist oppression and the way in which the church can reinvent itself by rediscovering its own history. Centring on the story of Chile under Pinochet, Cavanaugh redescribes torture as the liturgy of the state, to which the liturgy of the eucharist is the essential response. There's quite a bit about this book on-line, and Cavanaugh is clearly one of the leading lights of present day theology.
Also, as I mentioned before, the one thing that reading this book has done is change my mind about excommunication for unrepentant sinners. The Body cannot BE the Body without it - in a very concrete sense.
PS one very minor caveat - Cavanaugh sees pain as essentially private, something with which a Wittgensteinian would disagree...