What is the secret of the Sacraments? – The history and genesis of an understanding

pages: 263-288


The Holy Sacraments are among the most basic Christian concepts, although the current understanding of the Sacraments is mainly related to ritual action. That is an action which is considered especially religious. The question asked is whether this understanding was the same within the ancient Church and how sacramental consciousness developed throughout different periods in the life of the Church? The author points to the fact that the message of early sacramentology is without a doubt soteriological, which finds its form in the person of Christ and that the earliest sacramental concept has a clear foundation, which is Christ, the original Sacrament. He then writes about the relationship and mutual influence of pagan cults and Christian Sacraments. The author searches for archetypes of the Sacraments among the Old Testament. He elucidates that writings from the post-apostolic church fathers readily and extensively used that typology while speaking of the Sacraments and of Christ. During the apostolic and post-apostolic period, a definitional form could not be found for the Sacraments and so, certain holy fathers attempted to at least partially explain the sacramental reality. In view of that, part of the work is dedicated to the sacramental understanding of certain holy fathers and modern theologians.





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