Abstracts numero 2001/3

Articles varia

  • - Amour du prochain et égalité
  • The article shows that the letter of James is a culminating point of Early Christian ethics. James combines the commandment to do love and treat s. o. equal. No other New Testament author has interpreted in such a convincing way the commandment to love Your neighbour as an obligation for equal treatment. Nevertheless is the love commandment not limited to the congregation. That’s remarkable because as a rule, if love becomes a relationship of equals love can’t be universal as we can see in the johannine literature. And if love becomes universal and unlimited equality declines, as we can see in the synoptic Gospels. The balanced relationship between love and equality in the letter of James is due to a new combination of the two basic values of Early Christianity, the value of love of Your neighbour and of humility, the latter understood as renunciation of status and a change of social position.

  • - Cavernes païennes, cavernes chrétiennes
  • The story of the first apparition of the archangel Michael as he takes possession of a cavern in Southern Italy (story preserved in the Acta Sanctorum) shows the Christians not daring to enter the obscure cave (of which we now know that it sheltered a sanctuary dedicated to Mithra). There is a sharp contrast between this and the pagan stories where the heroes enter caves without fear. The same contrast is found in texts about purely literary caverns. Plato’s wise person can tame the cavern in which he or she is born and manages to get free from it. Saint Augustine got lost in his inner spaces, which he compared to caverns. The article concludes with a contrast between paganism, where all metamorphoses are possible, all passages accessible and all transitions manageable et Christianity with its very sharp sense of breaks and discontinuities.

  • - Du sacrifice de la messe à la convivialité de la Cène, ou la Réforme vue sous l’angle des rituels
  • Usually, there is an actual interest for the writings of the reformators concerning the Lord’s Supper. But their contemporaries looked probably much more to the modifications concerning the ways of celebrating. Our typological aim is to make those modifications visible and to show how the transit appears, especially by the presbyterians, from a sacrificial to a convivial understanding of the Lord’s Supper. A related question is whether the ritual modifications of Vatican II will have once similar consequences for the catholic understanding of the mass.

  • - L’autorité charismatique au coeur de l’Église : pentecôtisme et débat sectaire
  • In the public debate about « sects » and « cults », Pentecostalism is a key subject of study, if only because it is the fastest growing religious movement of the twentieth century. How should Pentecostalism be defined in this debate ? In some ways, Pentecostalism can be seen as a way of conjuring « protestant precarity » through the means of charisma. Pentecostalism seems to use, like Catholicism, vertical authority, but on an individual and charismatic basis (the pastor-prophet, who receives his charisma from God) instead of an institutionnal and sacred basis (« the Holy Church »). This « pentecostal prosperity » based on charisma might tend to over emphasize authority (and lead, at an extreme, to a sectarian drift), but various modes of regulation exist to counter this trend (increasing recourse to the Bible, better training of pastors, growing importance of theology).

Notules et Péricopes

  • - Les richesses injustes (Luc 16/1-13)
  • On the one hand, this article shows that this parable deals with two successive but related topics, resp. about « management » and « finance ». Both topics are treated along with an identical structure of « encasing » Jesus’ words, then the boss’, and ultimately the manager’s. On the other and, the lexical study suggests that the greek diversity, reflected in our translations (mammon, faithful, trust, dishonest, unrigtheous, true) could be in hebrew or aramaic dreived from the same root aman, meaning « what is trustworthy » ­ just as « trust » can mean « confidence in somebody » or a « money investment » !

Notes et chroniques

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