Religion Booknotes

God’s Gift Giving
In Christ and through the Spirit
Kevin Seasoltz
Continuum, $24.95, 246 pp.

As Kevin Seasoltz points out in the opening pages of God’s Gift Giving, the idea of “gift” has engaged the attention of scholars across a wide range of disciplines, from cultural anthropology to ethics and economics. Seasoltz provides the reader with a quick survey of the work being done in these various fields, but his main purpose is to use the idea of gift to unpack some fundamental themes in theology. It takes only a moment’s reflection to see how fruitful the theme of gift is for Christian thought. After all, creation itself is a gift, as is the new creation that is rooted in the Incarnation. Indeed, it is possible to place the whole theology of grace under the rubric of gift.

God’s Gift Giving unfolds in six large sections, after an opening chapter on the nature of gift itself. In these sections, the author addresses the concept of sacrifice, the sacrificial character of Christ’s self-giving in the Eucharist, God’s gift in Word and sacrament, the Holy Spirit as gift, and, finally, some pastoral implications of the notion of gift. Seasoltz, the longtime editor of Worship, is finely attuned to the problems the idea of sacrifice can present; in...

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About the Author

Lawrence Cunningham is John O'Brien professor of Theology (Emeritus) at the University of Notre Dame.