The World Council of Churches has called for renewed theological reflection on the biblical roots of ordination to strengthen the vocational identity of the ordained and to provide a framework for ecumenical dialogue. This book is a response to that call. It is grounded in the assumption that the vocation of ordination requires an understanding of holiness and how it functions in human religious experience. The goal is to construct a biblical theology of ordination that is embedded in broad reflection on the nature of holiness.
Dozeman’s study of holiness and ministry interweaves three methodologies. The first, from the History of Religions, describes two theories of holiness in the study of religion, as a dynamic force and as a ritual resource. Both play a central role in biblical literature and establish the paradigm of ordination to Word and Sacrament in Christian tradition. Second, the study of the formation of the Mosaic Office illustrates how the two views of holiness model ordination to the prophetic word and to the priestly ritual. Third, Canonical Criticism provides the lens to explore the ongoing influence of the Mosaic Office in the New Testament literature.
Holiness and Ministry will assist candidates for ordination to discern their call experience and establish professional identity within individual traditions of Christianity, while also providing a resource for ecumenical dialogue on the nature and purpose of Christian ordination.