Introduction to the Mystery of the Church is an ecclesiological survey presenting a doctrinal synthesis of the Church. The author's intention is to propose an overview of this mystery in connection with the en tirety of the Christian mystery. The book is divided into two major parts, the first presenting the foundations in the Bible and the tradition up to our day, and the second being an explanatory proposal introducing the reader to the Church's definition and personality and concluding with an exposition of the four properties enunciated in the Creed (one, holy, catholic, and apostolic). The value of this way of proceeding is first and foremost in the proposal of a synthesis that allows one to situate each question in its rightful place, such study being oriented toward a better overall grasp of the subject. As the title suggests, the book is an introduction that should allow the reader to apprehend the mystery in its internal coherence in order subsequently, with the aid of other texts, to be able to enter more deeply into the study of one or other specific point. While this ecclesiology treatise is written from a Catholic point of view, an ecumenical perspective is often present, either through the presentation of divergent views from other Christian confessions or through the proposal for a theological convergence.
"La Soujeole has done an excellent job of emphasizing the mystery of the Church… he has done a great service in putting into one volume a very thorough treatment for an introductory course in ecclesiology. This book would serve well eiher as a text for a course or as a source for supplemental reading in the study of ecclesiology."~David Olson, Mundelein Seminary, IL, Thomist
"Birthed as a university course, the book capitalizes on all the advantages offered thereby, setting a high standard in its thoroughness, clarity, and rigor. Happily the scope provided by this genre assists the author in his two-fold intention: 1) of presenting the subject as a unified whole and 2) in explicit relation to the other articles of faith... [de la Soujeole] is instructive in pointing the way toward this kind of an account of the Church. A faithful understanding of the Church is articulated fro mwithin the Nexus of the Mysteries."~Theological Studies
""Achieves a comprehensive systematic doctrinal synthesis that is rare in ecclesiological studies since the [Second Vatican] Council. This lengthy and profound study is the best introduction to ecclesiology that exists today and one that sets the bar high for future synthetic and systematic studies of doctrine on the Church." —Nova et Vetera"Displays a sensitivity to both the Christological and pneumatological aspects in ecclesiology, and more broadly to ecclesiology's connections with other areas of theology. Such Thomistic attention to the unity of theology must be applauded, rarely being found in today's theological landscape, but yet so crucial to the renewal of authentic Catholic thought." —from the foreword by Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, OP, Vatican City"