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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the development of Wolfhart Pannenberg’s ecclesiology in his early work and explores his fully developed ecclesiology in the Systematic Theology of 1993. It analyses the fundamental role of the church to be a sign and foretaste of the kingdom of God. This involves a constitutive self-distinction of the church from any political order or civil state on the one hand and from the future kingdom of God on the other. Moreover, the chapter emphasizes the simultaneity of individual salvation and incorporation into the church as the body of Christ in Pannenberg, and demonstrates the ecclesiological task to overcome the divisions between churches in order to witness to the unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity of the church.

Keywords: body of Christ, catholicity, ecclesiology, ecumenism, kingdom of God, local and universal church, ministry, priesthood of all believers, salvation, Wolfhart Pannenberg

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