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Jeg leste i dag ferdig Boyers bok EUCHARIST, der han tydelig skriver hvordan eukaristien best bør forstås; som en ihukommelse og takksigelse for Mirabilia Dei, Guds store frelseshandlinger. Det blir feil (skriver han) å fokusere på takken for den hellige kommunion (den kommer mer som et resultat av vår takksigelse for Guds store gjerninger og Kristi tilstedeværelse) og heller ikke på fellesskapsmåltidet (som også er et resultat av det samme). Helt på slutten av boka skriver han mye godt om den (nye, han skrev boka i 1968) tredje eukaristiske bønn (som er bygget på den galliske/spanske tradisjonen, men den andre eukaristiske bønn har han lite godt å si om; den er bygget på Hippolyts bønn, som (sier han) helt sikkert ikke har noe med den gamle romerske liturgien å gjøre. Forhåpentligvis vil jeg kunne klare å samle meg til å skrive litt mer om denne boka.

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Jeg leste også i dag et intervju med Dr. Keith Lemna: Rev. Louis Bouyer: A Theological Giant – Dr. Lemna har studert Boyers bøker svært grundig, og i intervjuet sier han bl.a.:

Who was Fr. Louis Bouyer?

Dr. Lemna: Louis Bouyer was a priest of the Oratory, a convert to Catholicism from Lutheranism, which he had served as a minister, an eminent liturgiologist and historian of spirituality, an influential scholar of Newman (whose studies of Newman helped to pave the way for Newman’s eventual beatification), and, perhaps most importantly of all, one of the greatest Catholic theologians of the twentieth century.

What were some of Fr. Bouyer’s significant contributions in the realm of Catholic theology?

Dr. Lemna: Fr. Bouyer is known most of all as a scholar of liturgy and spirituality, and it is in these areas that his work has exercised its most overt impact on the course of Catholic theology as a whole. In the area of liturgy, Bouyer, himself drawing on the work of Dom Odo Casel, is the figure who is most responsible for the emphasis that has been placed in recent decades on the theme of the “Paschal Mystery” as central for understanding the mystery of the faith, and he, as much or more than anyone, oriented sacramental theologians to a focus on the liturgical event as the basis for theological reflection on the nature and meaning of the sacraments.

What were some of his key works?

Dr. Lemna: … Similarly important is his book on the Eucharist, Eucharistie, one of three seminal studies of Christian liturgy done in the twentieth century (along with Josef A. Jungmann’s The Mass of the Roman Rite, and Dom Gregory Dix’s The Shape of the Liturgy). In this book, Bouyer explores the theology and historical development of the Church’s Eucharistic prayer. He argues for the importance of developing a theology of the Eucharist based on attention to the act of the liturgy, rather than a theology about the Eucharist that takes its starting point in abstract metaphysical concepts that are then applied to the reality of the Eucharist. He shows the roots of the Christian Eucharist in Jewish Temple and synagogue practices, going beyond Casel’s thesis that the Church had borrowed its liturgical forms from the Greco-Roman mystery cults.

What influence did his work have on the Second Vatican Council?

Dr. Lemna: It is difficult to assess the precise influence that Bouyer’s work had on the council. By the time that the council had convened, many of Bouyer’s ideas had become common currency among some of the theologians who were present at the council, even if they were not influenced by Bouyer. Bouyer was a theological expert relied upon by the Church in the period surrounding the council, and he was greatly trusted by Paul VI, who appointed him to the first International Theological Commission after the council and who had wanted to name him a cardinal. Bouyer refused the offer, arguing that it would cause too much trouble for the Holy See. He had been engaged in fierce polemics with the later generation of liturgists in France, and his reputation had suffered as a result. …

What are some aspects of Fr. Bouyer’s work that are deserving of more study and consideration?

Dr. Lemna: … I think that the biggest obstacle to furthering his thought is that Bouyer wrote in a very polemical style at times, in a way that was off-putting to both “traditionalist” and “progressivist” camps in theology. But the old battles that fueled those polemics are largely a thing of the past by now, and most of the participants in those battles are dead. Bouyer could be equally sharp toward neo-Thomists, Rahnerians, and toward theologians influenced to a great extent by liberal Protestantism. …. Despite his penchant for polemics, his overall vision of the unity of Catholic doctrine, of the connection between theology and Christian life, and his unrivalled sense of the central importance of sacred liturgy for theology and for the existence of the Church stands out over and beyond all of the heated disputes. Cardinal Lustiger had said that Bouyer was perceived as “untimely” and “unwelcome” to the “very generations” to whom he was “providentially sent.” But perhaps in our time we can begin to see more clearly precisely how lucid and comprehensive—and, one might even say, “forward-looking”—was Bouyer’s vision of Catholic theology. …

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