Alcuin Club Collections 80
The conventional view of scholars has tended to be that the Last Supper, as recorded in the New Testament, was both the source and the pattern of the early Christian Eucharist. Eucharistic Origins challenges this consensus and argues that, while the eucharistic sayings of Jesus did play an important part in shaping the beliefs of many early Christian communities:
the actual forms of their liturgical celebrations were quite varied;
the association of the Eucharist with an evening meal continued, at least in some place, much longer than has usually been thought; and
the link between the eucharistic prayers found in later sources and the Jewish grace after meals is much more tenuous than previously imagined.
The author builds closely on the second edition of his book, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, and, by means of a step-by-step analysis of the principal sources from the first few centuries, traces what can be known, and also what cannot be known, about the thought and practice of this formative period of Christianity.
Paul F. Bradshaw is Professor of Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University’s London centre. He is also a priest-vicar of Westminster Abbey, an honorary canon of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana, a member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, and chief editor of the international journal Studia Liturgica.