Phenomenology of the Eucharist: A Reflection on Traditioning
This thesis is an enquiry into how relationship differs from identity. It studies the senses of relationship and identity in the history of the Eucharist. The aim of the thesis is to describe how relationship and identity are expressed in the history of the Eucharist, and, by extension, in traditions generally. The thesis reflects on the Hebrew and Greek scriptures, historical celebrations of the Eucharist, Greek and Latin metaphysics, medieval mysticism and phenomenology. In Hebrew Scripture, a sense of infinite loveableness can be discerned in the expression "yahid". First century Christianity applied this particular sense of "yahid" to Jesus and this sense influenced the way the sacraments of initiation were celebrated. Accordingly, the Eucharist emerged through scripture and traditioning as a sign of infinite loveableness. The eucharistic expression of loveableness produces a sense of relationship which alters the Christian disciple's sense of identity. This alteration becomes actualised through expressions of hospitality and relational traditioning. Through reflecting on the dynamics of relationship and identity in the Eucharist a general phenomenology of tradition begins to emerge. This study was motivated by the author‘s belief that a relational theory of traditions and traditioning has not been written. By describing the relational significance of a traditional sign (the Eucharist), a contribution may have been made in two fields: the phenomenology of the Eucharist, and the phenomenology of tradition.