Christian Initiation (Bouyer)
By Louis Bouyer
Edited and with an Introduction by Michael Heintz
Christian Initiation, first published in 1958, serves in many ways as a point of entry for magnificent theological oeuvre of Louis Bouyer. Addressing the central elements of the Christian faith in a simple and straightforward manner, the book is meant as an initiation into Christian truth and life for those who profess—or hope to profess—faith in Jesus Christ. Each chapter is a “discovery” of that new life which Christ brings to the believer, infusing each and every experience with the light of his own risen glory.
“The vocation of the Christian, enabled by the grace of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist is expressed by a life lived and offered in love: Christ, living in the believer, loving in the believer, forgiving in the believer, all by sacramental grace” (Louis Bouyer).
Louis Bouyer (1913–2004) was a member of the French Oratory and one of the most respected and visionary Catholic scholars and theologians of his time. Formerly a Lutheran minister, Bouyer entered the Catholic Church in 1939 and became a prominent figure in the Catholic theological movements, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with such intellectual giants as Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger. A prolific author, Bouyer wrote over fifty works.
Michael Heintz (PhD, University of Notre Dame), a priest of the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend, Indiana, is currently associate professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
"A book on Initiation simply asks, Where does it begin? Where does our life in God begin? Bouyer answers in a way reminiscent of the light dawning on the whole. In morning twilight is a religious search by man for God. As day breaks, we are astounded by an evangelical search by God for man. And by a higher sun we are able to see the living Church, her mysteries, her Eucharist, her Spouse. A bright new life awaits one’s ascetical passage through Cross to resurrection. As the author himself says, “This book is intended for every Christian, actual or potential,” for he strives to make God’s truths attractive to our hearts." – David W. Fagerberg, University of Notre Dame
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