Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Wood, Susan K.
Masson, Robert L.
While the correlation between the liturgy and the Bible was vital in the patristic-medieval period, a dichotomy grew up between them in modern times. Starting with the assumption that a fuller retrieval of the correlation today requires forms of engaging texts which are not exclusively linear or historico-critical, the dissertation argues that the dichotomy between liturgy and Bible is overcome within a correlation of the Eucharist and spiritual exegesis that retrieves a typological reading of Scripture and that attends to the liturgical relationships memorial, presence, and anticipation. The structure of reading the Bible parallels the structure of praying within the liturgy.
In order to make a theological correlation between Eucharist and spiritual exegesis, the study first seeks to establish the supra-linear nature of each. In regard to the Eucharist, this study presents an analysis of the text of the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I in the current Roman Missal), demonstrating that it has the structure of a chiasmus, requiring a helical reading. This anaphora's chiasmus and its rhetorical helix convey a rich eucharistic theology of exchange and communion.
With respect to spiritual exegesis, this study establishes a supra-linear approach to Scripture by developing insights of Henri de Lubac into the reciprocal interiority of the four senses of Scripture. An analysis of the fourfold sense reveals that spiritual exegesis is governed by the two ways figure and fulfillment are perichoretically related; this mutual indwelling is displayed in the figural trading of idioms.
The final part of the study brings together eucharistic exchange and communion exemplified by the Roman Canon, on the one hand, and the communal immanence and exchange of idioms exhibited by the two cycles of spiritual exegesis in the fourfold sense of Scripture, on the other hand. It concludes that the admirabile commercium et connubium between head, body, and members in the earthly and heavenly dimensions of the totus Christus lies at the heart of the theological correlation between Eucharist and spiritual exegesis.