Common Spirit unnatural fellowship

What account of'place' is suggested by eucharistic pedagogy.? How does the Christian community practise 'place'? Place is the locus of community, as Harvey observes, where militant particularism originates.49 Yet a non-dialectical identification with place can fall into the trap of missing the ways in which places are constructed, not least through the flows of international capital. Only by keeping place in relation to space, the local in tension with the global, can we develop a liberative account of place. If the eucharist is the Christological mediation between the 'militant particularism' of the Church and the peaceable Kingdom, what account of place is thereby suggested?

'The survival of religion as a major institution within secular societies', argues David Harvey, 'has been in part won through the successful creation, protection, and nurturing of symbolic places'.50 Whatever the sociological truth of such a claim, the Church does not seek to create, protect or nurture ecclesial place. Rather, it responds and witnesses to an eschatological event: '[The church] has a place, but that place has its center of gravity in the church's home towards which it remains on pilgrimage.'51 We have seen three modalities of such a response and witness: eucharistic place can never be disassociated from suffering; place is always to be connected to wider social relations which the eucharist both presents and clarifies; place cannot be separated from the eschatological destiny ofall things in God. In the eucharist, the Church remembers, discerns once more its context in the created order and looks forward in expectation to the return of Christ. The Church does not originate a concept of place. Rather, in the eucharist, it receives - by its remembrance and the invocation of the presence of Christ by the Spirit - a notion of place.

48. Rasmussen,EarthCommunity,EarthEthics, p. 273.

49. Harvey, Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference, pp. 310-13.

50. Ibid., p. 322. 51. Cavanaugh, Torture andEucharist,p. 271.

Such a perspective should not be misunderstood or idealised. The eucharist refers us to material elements. So there is a sense that the organisational place of the Church cannot be a matter of indifference. Cavanaugh's Torture andEucharist offers a compelling account of how such indifference led Chile's Catholic bishops under the Pinochet dictatorship to consider the ecclesiality of Chile in terms of an invisible, mystical communion rather than the visible, public performance of the eucharist. Also from an emergency situation, in the Barmen Declaration Karl Barth recommended that the order of the Church must be appropriate for the carrying out of its sacramental operations.52 Beyond this, however, the Church seeks to neither organise nor dispose of its place.53

Here the Church is peculiar. Generally, opposition movements wish to secure their own places and wider spaces. 'Anti-capitalism movements are generally better at organising in and dominating "their" places than at commanding space', notes Harvey.54 The labour movement is a fine example: only recall the conclusion of The Communist Manifesto, which now has an ironic resonance: 'The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!'55 However, a eucharistic pedagogy denies such attempts to dominate place and organise and command space. Instead, place must always be referred to the memory of the crucified and the sufferings of the ecclesial community; to the gladness of the community, not least in its opening out to acknowledge the goodness ofcreation; and to the expectation ofthe coming rule ofGod.

Thus eucharistic pedagogy turns upon the narrowing and broadening of the concept of place. Ecclesial place cannot be understood except by reference to the history of the remembrance of the crucified one, the placing of the Church in creation and hope for the coming rule of God. Harvey argues that work, imagined loyalties and aesthetic representation are present in the construction of place.56 However, in the ecclesial con-strual of place set out here, the eucharist presents the material works of bread and wine as the representation of the suffering of the crucified

52. Karl Barth, 'The Barmen Declaration', in Clifford Green (ed.), KarlBarth:Theologian of Freedom (London: Collins, 1989), pp. 148-51.

53. Citing Balthasar, William T. Cavanaugh, 'The World in a Wafer: A Geography of the Eucharist as Resistance to Globalization', Modern Theology 15:2 (1999), 181-96, argues that 'the normal condition of the Catholica is... diaspora... catholicity isnotdependent on extension through space' (190).

54. Harvey, Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference, p. 324.

55. Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, p. 77.

56. Harvey, Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference, p. 323.

God-body; loyalty refers to praise of the Christ of God as liberator and judge which, in turn, invokes loyalty to the earth; and aesthetic representation may be understood theologically as the expectation of fulfilment which can be understood only in aesthetic and affective categories.57

Eucharistic 'place' is therefore the criticism of nationalist, sectarian con-struals of'place'. How so.? Consider this: in a television series on nationalism, Blood and Belonging,58 Michael Ignatieff, observing a funeral in the Ukraine, commented as follows:

Ukrainian Catholics are reburying the remains of their spiritual leader, Cardinal Slippe, who died in exile in Rome. It's a moment in which modern nationalism taps into its ancient religious roots. Uniate Catholicism is found nowhere else: it's a mixture of Catholicism and Russian Orthodoxy, it's 400 years old and it's the very core of Western Ukraine's distinctiveness. The honour guard at Cardinal Slippe's burial is a sinister crew, white shirted paramilitaries of the Ukrainian right, who claim descent from the guerrillas who fought, sometimes alongside the Nazis, against the Red Army in the Second World War. Nationalism is where religion and authoritarianism sometimes meet: it is the dream of unity, everyone singing the same hymn and moved by the same inspiration.

Does such authoritarianism truly rely on a Christian dream of unity? A sense of the past, and the underpinning of a story, to do with a particular people and a particular place: is this the legitimation that Christianity provides?

In the eucharistic pedagogy outlined here, the sense of the past must always begin from and refer to Golgotha.59 It is not just 'the past' that is invoked, but the past of the God-body which also encompasses the history of the people of Israel. Further, the construal of land as place cannot be thought except in thankfulness for the goodness of the created order and within an eschatological orientation. It is true that the Christian Old Testament portrays the deliverance of Israel as a deliverance to a land of fecundity and justice but, as H. Paul Santmire argues, that deliverance is accompanied by the blessing of all the earth by the creator.60 The account of eucharistic nature operative here similarly is related always to creation

57. On the importance of affective categories for the interpretation of eschatology, see David H. Kelsey, 'Two Theologies of Death: Anthropological Gleanings', Modern Theology 13:3 (1997), 345-70.

58. Programme broadcast on BBC TV, 2 December 1993.

59. Cf. Moltmann, The Way of Jesus Christ, p. 204.

60. Cf. H. Paul Santmire, Nature Reborn:The Ecological and Cosmic Promise of Christian Theology (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2000), pp. 31-5.

and the fulfilment of creation. It thus resists restriction to a particular people and a particular place. As Cavanaugh notes, '[The Church] is a gathering, but it is not therefore marked by a "fascist" binding - a homogeneous exclusion of otherness - precisely because the church must constantly renew itself as a gift of God who is Other in the Eucharist.'61 Place and land are thereby rendered always excentric on account of such eucharistic otherness: related to others and oriented towards the consummating actions of the triune God. The sacramental vision, to borrow a phrase from Rowan Williams, funded by such an account of the eucharist is radically inclusive and provocative, embodying 'the challenge ofhow there might be a social order in which the disadvantaged and even the criminal could trust that the common resources of a society would work for their good'.62True eucharistic place is thereby never sectarian or oppressive.63

It remains the case, however, that eucharistic practice is embodied practice: it refers to actual congregations in specific places. Thus it is not possible to counter the nationalism observed by Ignatieff with the denial of place. Christian communities are not resident aliens in the sense of being rootless; the eucharist can only be celebrated in places. Thus Christianity denies modern tendencies towards the denial of place, brilliantly presented by Marx: 'The bourgeoisie has, wherever it has got the upper hand . . . left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment".'64 Furthermore, a eucharistic account ofplace would also deny the tendency under modern capitalist conditions to construe place abstractly, that is, to concentrate on the differences between places not in order to learn of the places themselves but instead to discern which place may yield the highest profit on investment which, in turn, generates a competition between places.65 For how could the marginalised trust such 'discernment' to work for them.?

Eucharistic fellowship thereby does, by reference to its material basis, make the spatial, 'platial' and the individual, particular. This bread and this wine in this place represent the God-body. Yet the concept of fellowship operative here refers to the binding ofthe bread and wine to the crucifixion, the relating of the material elements to creation and the orientation

61. Cavanaugh, Torture andEucharist, p. 271. 62. Williams, On Christian Theology, p. 220.

63. See further, Peter Scott, 'A Theology of Eucharistic Place: Pilgrimage as Sacramental', in

C. Bartholomew and F. Hughes (eds.), Explorations in a Christian Theology of Pilgrimage

(Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming).

64. Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, p. 37.

65. See Harvey, Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference, pp. 297-8.

of all space towards eschatological fulfilment. Thus, in the eucharist, fellowship still turns upon the dynamics of temporality, sociality and spatial-ity. The opposition between nationalist place and deracinated, bourgeois space is denied in favour of eucharistic place: a life of service in the middle of a good creation in a community which endures through suffering and in expectation of the new, by remembrance in the Spirit of the crucified God-body. In such fashion, ecclesial practice construes space in liberatory rather than oppressive ways.

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