Areopagus Lecture 1
Peter Leithart: The Cultural Consequences of Christian Division
For the first Areopagus Lecture, pastor-theologian Peter J. Leithart presented a lecture entitled “The Cultural Consequences of Christian Division.” Dr. Leithart focused on the pivotal role that the 1529 Marburg Colloquy played in Christian division among Protestants, particularly in the debate between Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli over the Real Presence in the Eucharist. As a result of the impasse between Luther and Zwingli (and their subsequent refusal to commune at the Lord’s table), the Colloquy of Marburg shifted the Eucharist from something that Christians primarily do together to something about which Christians think or believe a certain way.
Peter J. Leithart on church unity
“If you put these two premises together — 1.) that the Church is at the center of human history, is the driving thread of all human history, 2.) and that at the center of the Church is this Eucharistic feast, this Eucharistic liturgy — then you can conclude that the premise I’m going to be operating on is that if we want to understand the dynamics of human history — and particularly if we want to understand the cultural, political, and economic dynamics of the past 500 years — we need to attend first of all to what’s happening at the Lord’s table and on the Lord’s day and what’s happening in the aftermath of the Reformation.”