The author discusses ecclesiastical governance using one of the most meaningful contemporary ecclesiological models - Eucharistic ecclesiology. Conceived by the noted Orthodox theologian Nikolay Afanasyev, this idea became very popular in both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christian theology. Its underlying concept underlines the role of the people of God who assemble for the Eucharist to partake of the Body of Christ as united in one Body with Christ and thus becoming one Body with Christ. This is, according to Saint Paul, the Church in all its fullness. The unity of the Eucharistic assembly as an empirical manifestation of the Body of Christ requires the local Church to also act as one body. The paper considers two examples of Eucharistic moduls (that of Nikolay Afanasiev and that of John Zizioulas) and examines how the local church acts and makes decisions, and governance is dispersed throughout the body of the local Church. The author points out that in both examples the people play a rather passive role and merely act on that which the bishop decides. The article touches upon a question on possibility/impossibility of negative reception of the presider’s activity by the people. Also the author conﬁrms an idea of principal insensibility of the Eucharistic ecclesiology to any individualization in the decision-making process.
bishop, Body of Christ, church governance, corporate personality, ecclesiology, Eucharist, John Zizioulas, Nikolay Afanasiev, people of God, primacy, power structure
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