Roger D. Haight presents a historical ecclesiology which is concrete, realist, and historically conscious. In what he terms an “ecclesiology from below,” Haight charts the history of the church’s self-understanding from the origins of the church in the time of Christ to the late Middle Ages. While the ultimate focus of the work falls on the structure of the church and its theological self-understanding, it tries to be faithful to the historical, social, and political reality of the church in each period.
“Ecclesiology is the study of the church in an effort to understand its nature and mission. The” (Page 17)
“globalization is enabling the Christian churches to appreciate with new eyes the enormous common ground that unites them” (Page 1)
“, but on the understanding of the church as that ecclesiology developed across the centuries” (Page vii)
“Globalization refers to the growing interdependence of peoples who formerly lived their lives separate from and ignorant of each other and thus in many ways were historically independent. Globalization does not, however, imply an automatic homogenization but seems to entail a heightened sense of the other as different and a new sense of self-appropriated identity over against the inroads of external norms and standards of existence.” (Page 1)
“Teleology, a sense of ultimate goals and of means to achieve them, formed the substructure of Cassian’s representation of monastic life. He keeps going back to the distinction between means and ends in order ‘to shift the monks’ outlook from earth to heaven,’ to put meanings in a broader eschatological framework. ‘Cassian’s great contribution to monastic theology … is a relentless insistence on the long view.” (Pages 235–236)