Any good books on the nature of the Church?

Hi guys.

I’m writing a term paper for a theology class I’m in, and I decided to write on the Church (its visible and invisible nature etc…) but I’m at a loss for good sources to reference. So far I have Frank Sheed’s book Theology and Sanity, which touches on the Church a little, but I need at least two or three more for a balanced paper.

Anybody have any books they recommend? I would greatly appreciate it.

amazon.com/The-Kingdom-God-Liturgical-Empire/dp/0801039479

This book is rockstar!!!

Awesome. Thanks.

Frank Sheed’s Christ In Eclipse, – A Clinical Study of the Good Christian has many crucial points.(Sheed & Ward 1976).

Check out The Church of God: Body of Christ and Temple of the Holy Spirit, by Fr. Louis Bouyer. Not only will this 635 page tome by a serious intellectual be of tremendous help, I am sure, but it happens to be on super-sale over at Ignatius Press for a mere six bucks. Moreover, contrary to what you may read on their website, standard shipping will take about a week. :slight_smile:

Here’s part of the description from the provided link:

*How does the Church perceive herself? Fr. Louis Bouyer’s The Church of God sets out to answer that question, in light of Tradition and theological reflection through the centuries, but especially by drawing on the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. This book is a highly-readable, thorough synthesis of ecclesiology after the Council, presented by one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century.

*Here is an Amazon review of the book.

How about some primary sources?

This one primarily looks at the Church as the people of God, a communion, and a “sacrament” (ie a visible sign of salvation):

Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium
vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

This one primarily looks at the Church as the mystical body of Christ:

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis
vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_29061943_mystici-corporis-christi_en.html

Some documents from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

This one’s aim was to correct certain errors of recent times relating to ecclesiology:
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19730705_mysterium-ecclesiae_en.html

This one provides more on the Church as a communion:
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_28051992_communionis-notio_en.html

This one clarifies a few additional points:
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html

Thanks everyone! All this has been really helpful. :thumbsup:

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