In recent years many books have been published in the area of Christology (who is Jesus in himself?) and soteriology (what did he do as Saviour?). A number of notable, ecumenical documents on Christian ministry have also appeared. But in all this literature there is surprisingly little reflection on the priesthood of Christ, from which derives all ministry, whether the priesthood of all the faithful or ministerial priesthood. This present work aims to fill that gap by examining, in the light of the Scriptures and the Christian tradition, what it means to call Christ our priest.
Beginning with a study of the biblical material, the book then moves to the witness to Christs priesthood coming from the fathers of the Church, Thomas Aquinas, Luther and Calvin, the Council of Trent, the seventeenth-century French School, John Henry Newman, Tom Torrance and the Second Vatican Council. The two concluding chapters describe and define in twelve theses the key characteristics of Christs priesthood and what sharing in that priesthood, through baptism and ordination, involves.
Born in Melbourne (Australia), Gerald O'Collins was ordained a priest in 1963, took his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 1968 and taught for 33 years at the Gregorian University (Rome), where he was also dean of theology (1985-91). Now living back in Australia, he is an adjunct professor of the Australian Catholic University. Author or co-author of 56 published books and of hundreds of articles in professional and popular journals, he is widely known for his appearances on BBC and as a lecturer in many universities and colleges around the world and has chaired conferences for the Templeton Foundation. He has received numerous honorary doctorates and other awards, including the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), the highest honour awarded through the Australian government.