USML | Fr. Thomas A. Baima

Books By Faculty

Fr. Thomas A. Baima

Father Baima teaches in the areas of ecclesiology, Reformation studies, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, global theologies and theological method.  His research and writing has also included the study of ecclesial organization and issues of religious freedom.  He studies the works of Yves Congar, Avery Dulles, and Mortimer Adler.Full Bio


A Legacy of Catholic-Jewish Dialogue: The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Jerusalem Lectures 

A Legacy of Catholic-Jewish Dialogue: The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Jerusalem Lectures chronicles this significant annual Catholic-Jewish event. Each lecture is written by some of the world's leading experts in the field of Catholic-Jewish relations and represents another step in a growing dialogue which is now recognized internationally as the premier encounter between local communities. This anthology collects the ten lectures presented at the 10th anniversary of the Bernardin Lectures series. This collection provides an interesting coda to A Blessing To Each Other: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and Jewish Catholic Dialogue. Cardinal Bernardin's lecture which begins the series represents the first time a churchman of his rank so forthrightly addressed the issues of anti-Semitism in a public dialogue with the Jewish Community. Cardinal George's lecture suggests a new trajectory for a mature dialogue relationship which opens new horizons for scholarship around both faith and culture issues and interreligious dialogue.

Liturgy Training Publications 2012—240 pages


What is a Parish?

The parish is the venue in which the mission of the Church is lived, and the relationship of Catholics to the local and universal Church is mediated.  Catholics come to the parish, not the diocese, to celebrate the sacraments, to be catechized and formed, and to receive pastoral care.  The Parish is “the Church inserted into the neighborhood and the world,” the place in which the Church encounters the world and the world encounters the Church.  However, the Parish is rarely examined theologically or understood from a pastoral perspective.

The book What is a Parish? has three objectives:  1) It frames the parish with respect to the theological, canonical and civil status of the parish.  2) Outlines the further theological work to be done.  3)  It proposes criteria for evaluating further theological, pastoral and civil judgments and initiatives concerning the parish and parish life.

Hillenbrand Books, 2011


Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper

Four different ways Christians understand the Lord’s Supper—Baptist view (memorialism), Reformed (spiritual presence), Lutheran (consubstantiation), and Roman Catholic (transubstantiation)—are fairly represented and debated to provide readers with an opportunity to draw their own conclusion on this important Christian institution.

Who should participate in the Lord’s Supper? How frequently should we observe it? What does this meal mean? What happens when we eat the bread and drink from the cup? What do Christians disagree about and what do they hold in common?These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking book.
This new volume in the Counterpoints: Church Life series allows four contributors to make a case for the following views:
• Baptist view (memorialism)
• Reformed view (spiritual presence)
• Lutheran view (consubstantiation)
• Roman Catholic view (transubstantiation)
All contributors use Scripture to present their views, and each responds to the others’ essays. This book helps readers arrive at their own conclusions. It includes resources such as a listing of statements on the Lord’s Supper from creeds and confessions, quotations from noted Christians, a resource listing of books on the Lord’s Supper, and discussion questions for each chapter to facilitate small group and classroom use.

English Edition
Zondervan, 2009, 224 pages

Spanish Edition
Vida, 2010, 208 pages



The Concordat of Agreement Between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Lessons on the Way Toward Full Communion

Although the Concordat of Agreement passed the 1999 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly, there was still a solid bloc of Lutherans who refused to receive its theology. This study examines the decision-making process which led to the failure of the Concordat at the 1997 ELCA Churchwide Assembly for the deeper causes of the ongoing non-reception. Using insights from several theological disciplines (canon law, ecclesiology, ecumenism, and sacramental theology), as well as organizational behavior and management, it analyzes the verbatim transcripts of the 1997 assembly. The data gained from this research identifies and analyzes both the method of bilateral dialogue and the content of the theological propositions regarding historic episcopacy and three-fold ministry which form the causes of the non-reception of the Concordat. The findings identify a flaw in the method used in the ELCA bilateral dialogues – the lack of inter-governance to balance the intercommunion. This insight challenges other bilateral dialogues to examine their method as well. Also, by reviewing these findings from the standpoint of ecclesiology, it is able to generalize how the flaws could affect the communion at the global level.

Published in USA as

The Concordat of Agreement Between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Lessons on the Way Toward Full Communion

Edwin Mellen Press

262 pages


The Community of Religions

Gathered on the centenary and in the same city of Chicago where the first Parliament took place, the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions was the largest interfaith gathering ever held. Representatives from minority, ethnic, and tribal religions took the podium as equals alongside representatives from the world's largest religious traditions. The Community of Religions is an essential record of this historic event, containing major addresses and reflections as well as numerous short evocations of the spirit of the Parliament.

Father Baima’s contribution is a chapter on the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic: Its Making and Its Future.

Continuum, Aug 1, 1996 - 259 pages


A Blessing to Each Other: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and Jewish-Catholic Dialogue

(Compiled by Thomas A. Baima)

In this book Cardinal Bernardin's most respected and effective voice proclaims a new way in which Judaism and Christianity, Jews and Christians can meet, listen to each other and learn to live side by side in friendship and peace. This selection of Cardinal Bernardin's addresses, prayers and columns over the years shows the breadth of his interest and the depth of his commitment to the Jewish-Catholic dialogue. Included in this collection are the basic documents that have guided Catholics since Vatican II, thoughtful introductions to the Chicago experience and to the theology of Cardinal Bernardin, and questions for dialogue groups and personal reflection. Included are introductions by Herman Schaalman, Thomas A. Baima, John T. Pawlikowski and Daniel F. Montalbano.

Liturgy Training Publications, 1996, 200 pages.


Sourcebook of the World’s Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality

Edited by Joel Beversluis

Father Baima contributed the chapterChristianity: Origin and Beliefs

New World Library, 2000, 442 pages

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