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October 05 , 2008

One Baptism

Ecumenical Dimensions of the Doctrine of Baptism


Most Christians would say that baptism is the one sacrament Christians of al denominations share, that it is the source of ecumenical unity among al Christian churches. But how true is that? Is there really one baptism," as we profess in the Nicene Creed? If we disagree about what baptism does, can we really say that baptism unites us?

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To address this central question Susan Wood brings together the history and theology of baptism (systematic, sacramental, and liturgical), focusing especially on the divergent paths taken in the understanding of the sacrament since the Reformation. Founded not only in her study of theology but also in her years of participation in ecumenical dialogues, her perspective will illuminate this problem for readers and point the way toward deeper understanding.

Susan K. Wood, SCL, is professor of theology at Marquette University. Active in ecumenical work, she serves on the U.S. Lutheran 'Roman Catholic dialogue, the U.S. Roman Catholic 'Orthodox Theological Consultation, the conversation between the Roman Catholic Church and the Baptist World alliance, and the international Lutheran 'Roman Catholic Dialogue. She is an associate editor of Pro Ecclesia and serves on the editorial advisory board of the journal Ecclesiology. In addition to numerous articles, she has published Spiritual Exegesis and the Church in the Theology of Henri de Lubac (Eerdmans, 1998), Sacramental Orders (Liturgical Press, 2000), and is the editor of Ordering the Baptismal Priesthood (Liturgical Press, 2003).

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