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An examination of ritual and meaning in the Christian Eucharist

FAULKNER, SUSAN,ANN (2014) An examination of ritual and meaning in the Christian Eucharist. Unspecified thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis emphasises the importance of the experience of intersection points in the ritual of the Eucharist. Through the intersection of many layers of experience, tradition and history, meaning can be discovered and created afresh. This is illustrated with a detailed description of the regular Eucharist service in the particular context of the Anglican Parish of St Silas, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne. This narrative is included as an exercise in narrative theology, concentrating on the importance of actual experience (in this case from my own personal perspective) as well as the theoretical and doctrinal issues which have been important in developing Eucharistic theology. There is a brief analysis of theories of ritual as well as a discussion on the nature and functioning of diversity today. Throughout, the Eucharist will be understood as a foundational part of Christian identity. Although this is an examination distinctly from a Christian perspective, I use the term 'Divine' in referring to what is traditionally understood as 'God' and the priests are referred to in feminine terms to challenge traditional male gendered language.
I come to conclude that it is the diversity that each individual actor and context brings to the Eucharist that makes it possible to glimpse the Divine and eternal. This is ever present, however it is when human being is open to a creative future by meeting the 'other' that a more fully liberated future is possible. This leads me to conclude that not only is diversity important, it is an essentially good and necessary experience. In society today there are many points of tension in our experience of diversity, and this thesis illustrates why a need to conform is ultimately futile and unfaithful to Christian theology.

Item Type:Thesis (Unspecified)
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 Dec 2014 10:09

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