Date of Award

Spring 1976

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gunzie, Tad

Second Advisor

Calswell, Thomas

Third Advisor

Egan, Keith J.


Sacrifice is a notion common to most religious traditions. Within the Christian tradition the notion of sacrifice is intrinsically associated with the person of Jesus Christ. The relationship between Jesus' own sacrifice and the life of the Christian community is cultically celebrated and doctrinally expressed in various ways within the Christian tradition; even within a single ecclesial community various theologies of sacrifice do exist. This dissertation is a study of Augustine's own theory of eucharistic sacrifice. Many interpretations of Augustine fail to take account of his world-view, and they often misrepresent his sacrificial theology. This study presents Augustine's sacrificial theology in a broader religious context; it shows the relationship between Christian sacrifice as understood by Augustine and sacrifice as understood in other religious traditions. Modern authors distinguish among three basic theories of sacrifice: the communion-meal theory, the victimhood theory,and the gift theory. These themes represent man's basic religious spirit, and they are embodied in various forms. All three are usually operative in a religious tradition, but one will inevitably dominate. The appearance of these themes in Christian sacrifice, specifically in Augustine's synthesis, affirms the true religious character of Augustine's synthesis...



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