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Open Theology

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A Too-Future Eschatology? The Limits of the Phenomenology of Liturgy in Jean-Yves Lacoste

Jan Černý
Published Online: 2019-10-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2019-0028


The article first outlines Jean-Yves Lacoste’s phenomenological description of “liturgy”, i.e. the encounter between God and the human being. It argues that Lacoste’s rejection of the religious apriori on the side of the human being and emphasis on God’s transcendence and otherness leads to decontextualization of the experience of Christian faith, as his strongly future eschatology does not allow for the real transformation of both the individual and social lives of believers. In the second step, the article gives two counterexamples to Lacoste’s attitude that represent an attempt to recontextualize the experience of Christian faith within concrete historical and cultural coordinates. The examples come from the work of American theologian William Cavanaugh and Czech philosopher Robert Kalivoda, whose focus lies in the hermeneutics of a sacramental experience and the question of the history-making of Christian faith. Cavanaugh recontextualizes the understanding of the sacramental experience in terms of globalization. Kalivoda interprets the transformation of Christian eschatological ideas into a program of real social changes with special attention devoted to the Hussite revolution of the 15th century and the Hussite conception of the Lord’s Supper. The article concludes that Kalivoda’s emphasis on present eschatology stands in opposition to Lacoste’s emphasis on future eschatology, whereas Cavanaugh holds a middle position with balanced emphasis on both poles of Christian eschatology.

Keywords: eschatology; sacramental experience; millennialism; phenomenology; liturgy; Jean-Yves Lacoste; William Cavanaugh; Robert Kalivoda


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About the article

Received: 2019-05-04

Accepted: 2019-09-06

Published Online: 2019-10-21

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 386–402, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2019-0028.

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© 2019 Jan Černý, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0

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