Implications of Trinitarian Theology for Inter-Denominational Eucharistic Celebration: The Contribution of John Zizioulas

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Arts and Humanities | Religion


Miguel H. Diaz, Theology


The Eucharist is the heart of Christian identity and worship. In the Eucharist, the many who are the one Body of Christ gather together to express their oneness. Consequently, this celebration may also starkly expose the schisms which splinter Christianity.

This thesis applies the Trinitarian theology of John Zizioulas, a renowned Orthodox theologian, to the question of "intercommunion," the practice of inter-denominational Eucharistic sharing. Specifically, this thesis investigates the notions of communion and personhood in Zizioulas' theology, and explores his ecclesiological vision based upon the nature of God as persons in communion. This thesis then argues that a closed Eucharistic table is inconsistent with Zizioulas' Trinitarian theology and ecclesiology. The Body of Christ must genuinely gather as one for the Eucharistic Celebration to be true and full, but the Eucharist cannot divide those who are one in Baptism into many.