The Priesthood of the Plebs

A Theology of Baptism

By Peter J. Leithart

The Priesthood of the Plebs

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  • ISBN: 9781592444045
  • Pages: 336
  • Publication Date: 10/16/2003
  • Retail Price: $34.00
Web Price: $27.20
Web Price: $27.20

The Priesthood of the Plebs

A Theology of Baptism

By Peter J. Leithart

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781592444045
  • Pages: 336
  • Publication Date: 10/16/2003
  • Retail Price: $34.00
Web Price: $27.20

About-

In this seminal treatise, Peter J. Leithart argues that the coming of the New Creation in Jesus Christ has profound and revolutionary implications for social order, implications symbolized and effected in the ritual of baptism. In Christ and Christian baptism, the ancient distinctions between priest and non-priest, between patrician and plebian, are dissolved, giving rise to a new humanity in which there is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. Yet, beginning in the medieval period, the church has blunted the revolutionary force of baptism, and reintroduced antique distinctions whose destruction was announced by the gospel. Leithart calls the church to renew her commitment to the gospel that offers "priesthood to the plebs."

Endorsements & Reviews-

"According to the New Testament, baptism is initiation into the Church as a priestly community. Despite this evident fact, theologians in recent times have paid very little attention to the way in which the developed notion of priesthood in the Old Testament finds its fulfillment in baptism. Here lies the originality of Dr Leithart's approach. In this book, based on his doctoral dissertation defended in Cambridge UK, neglected parts of the Old Testament are made to yield striking insights into the nature of the Christian community. The author reveals himself to be a true scribe of the kingdom, revealing a vision of the Church in relation to the world that is radical in the fundamental sense of the word: digging down into the roots of the Christian tradition, and bringing out of his treasure things new and old."

Andrew Louth, University of Durham

"This erudite book constitutes a bold and wide-ranging attempt to argue for a typological relationship between Old Testament ideas of priestly ordination and Christian conceptions of baptism. In the process the author raises a number of fascinating historical and theological questions, many of which have potentially intriguing implications for Christian understandings of community and church order. A book which should stimulate and challenge people working in a variety of theological disciplines, whether Biblical studies, church history, or Christian doctrine."

James Carleton Paget, University of Cambridge, UK

"Leithart argues that Christian Baptism, rightly understood, is the inception point of a new kind of social order, one that has yet to find full expression in Christendom and in the wider world. Anyone interested in Christian sacraments, in ecclesiology narrowly conceived, or in social order, needs to study this work with care."

James B. Jordan

Contributors-

Peter J. Leithart

Bio(s)-

Peter Leithart is an ordained minister of the Pacific Northwest Presbytery, Presbyterian Church in America, and senior fellow of theology and literature at New St. Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho.

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