A Study of the Theology of the Open Table: Researching the Eucharist of the Presbyterian Church of Korea

Eojin Lee

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis concerning the eucharistic tradition of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the open table theology contributes to research of the eucharist of the PCK. The eucharist of the PCK has been influenced by Korean culture and formed by the legacy of the early Presbyterian missionaries from America. Baptism and faith as the prerequisite for the eucharist are emphasized and preaching centred worship omitting the eucharist prevails in the PCK. These eucharistic practices of the PCK have been enhanced by the traditional eucharistic understanding which recognizes the last supper as the origin of the eucharist. Theologically, the traditional eucharistic understanding has led the PCK to focus on the paschal meaning in the eucharist. In challenging the traditional eucharistic understanding of the PCK, the thesis enlarges a number of impulses in contemporary biblical and liturgical scholarship which might be regarded as encouraging consideration of a practice of an open table. Throughout, the thesis is concerned with identifying and evaluating potential historical, biblical and theological bases for the open table. The eucharist of the early church particularly in the first two centuries was different from the last supper tradition and diverse in theology and contents. The eucharistic features of the early church offer an opportunity to rethink the traditional eucharistic understanding adhering to the last supper tradition and rediscover the eucharistic significance in the meals of Jesus. Jesus held many tables in his ministry with the vision of the kingdom of God and invited people to the tables without any discrimination. The grace, love and hospitality of God embodied in the inclusivity of the meals of Jesus are the nature of the eucharist. Jesus is the host of the eucharist and present in the eucharist. This new perspective on the eucharist diverts the attention of the church from the claim of rigidity of eucharistic regulation to the risen Christ, the primordial sacrament. At the end of the thesis, the focus is on how, liturgically and practically, a theology of the open table might be embodied and enacted in actual worship through examining the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) practising an open table.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Lee, Sang Taek, Principal Supervisor
  • Moore, Gerard, Co-Supervisor
  • Burns, Stephen, Co-Supervisor
Award date01 Jul 2014
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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