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Eugene Schlesinger

Sacrificing the Church

Mass, Mission, and Ecumenism

Fortress Press 2019

New Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network November 5, 2019 Will Sipling

Dr. Eugene Schlesinger is the author of Sacrificing the Church: Mass, Mission, and Ecumenism (Fortress Press, 2019). Gene teaches in the Department of Religious...

Dr. Eugene Schlesinger is the author of Sacrificing the Church: Mass, Mission, and Ecumenism (Fortress Press, 2019). Gene teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. An Episcopalian systematic theologian, he is primarily engaged in Catholic theology, and specializing in ecclesiology and sacramental theology.

Schlesinger, in Sacrificing the Church, writes about the intermingling of three key elements of Christian worshipping communities: the eucharist, mission and outreach to the wider world, and the unity between Christian faith traditions. These three aspects of Church life form three major vignettes in the book, highlighting the importance of each as necessary to one another. One cannot have the Mass, the “sending out,” without mission, and one cannot have “one body in Christ” unless ecumenism is carried out.

Schlesinger’s work is ultimately constructive—though willing to critique injustice, infighting, or insularity within Church walls, his arguments coalesce around eschatology, the perfection of all things in Christ’s “here and not yet” work of uniting all things to himself.


Will Sipling is a fellow of the Department of Catholic Studies and the Thomas J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). Will previously studied for a master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary, writing a thesis on sacramental and liturgical theology. His research interests include asceticism and monasticism, ecumenism, and Anglicanism. You can follow his work at williamsipling.com or at @WSipling.