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Document Details :
Title: Thought and the Eucharist
Subtitle: Philosophical Models and Their Theological Appropriation
Author(s): GELDHOF, Joris
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 86 Issue: 1 Date: 2010
This article first presents and discusses the five philosophical models which Jean Greisch distinguished in his seminal study on the philosophy of religion (Le buisson ardent et les Lumières de la raison, Paris, 2002-2004). It then asks whether the same reasoning can be extrapolated to the theology of the Eucharist. Jean Greisch appears to favor a combination of phenomenology and hermeneutics, because this approach is both the most promising for the future and the most appropriate to deal with religion in all its complexity. Greisch acknowledges some strengths of the other three models (speculation, criticism, and analysis) but in the end repudiates them. In this article a case is made for a rehabilitation of the speculative paradigm, for speculative theology is not a relic of the past but can be considered to provide an orientation for future theologizing. Correspondingly, the thesis is defended that a theology of the Eucharist can profit a lot from a speculative vision, albeit not in an isolated way but always accompanied by the intrinsic values that a hermeneutical (or symbolic) approach and phenomenology contribute to a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Eucharist. In particular, this case is made through a critical exchange with Louis-Marie Chauvet, who is rightly interpreted as one of the major representatives of the hermeneutical (or symbolic) paradigm in contemporary sacramental theology.