Sacrificing the Church makes an important contribution to ecumenical theology, placing sacrifice at the center of ecumenism, and connecting this theme to the eucharist and to mission. Schlesinger seems to have read almost everything, and the footnotes provide an invaluable guide. Though his final section addresses ecumenical issues between churches, it is not too difficult to see it as having relevance for intra-Anglican disputes, especially the knotty issues of our own day, where the challenge of “communion across difference” and “good disagreement” confront us. This fine book moves sacrifice to the center of the search for unity, taking us a step beyond conversion, renewal, or even repentance, to the very foot of the cross.
This is an exceptionally rich and stimulating study that takes us to the theological heart of the Church. . . . This is not a book to be skimmed or even dipped into, but rather to grapple with, to indwell and to be changed by. Scholars and theologians will need to reckon with it. And if serving clergy were to read a chapter each day prayerfully during Lent, or perhaps to take the book on retreat as their combined spiritual and theological reading, they would find themselves enriched and challenged. Schlesinger teaches us all to think somewhat differently about the Eucharist, mission and unity.