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An Ideal Church: A Meditation is just that-a meditation on what our Christian church ought to be. The author takes a hard look at the church as it is right now and also muses on the better community we could create.
In the first section Carmody draws on the traditional marks of the church-one, holy, catholic, and apostolic (adding a fifth-ecumenical)-as aspects of this ideal ecclesiology. In the second section, she ponders the notion of the "people of God" as the group that truly enfleshes this "ideal" church. Here she specifically examines the role of the laity, religious, and priests as discusses the institutional and charismatic aspects of the church as forms that can help to carry the people of God to holiness.
This thought-provoking, visionary work provides a challenge to the way the church is, as well as a freedom to envision the church the way it could be. It will be of interest to students of ecclesiology and to general readers-Christians of all denominations-who envision the church's potential to be the ideal community.
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