Lumen gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, uses various images to speak about the Church. This study is about the Church as the Bride of Christ. Unlike the great images of the Church as the People of God and the Body of Christ, the image of the Church as the Bride of Christ has never been extensively examined since the Second Vatican Council. The current research is a biblical and systematic-theological study of this image. Its main question is what this metaphor can tell us about the essence of the Church, and what its consequences are for the life of the Church today.
Norbert Schnell, priest of the Archdiocese of Utrecht, rector of Bovendonk, training college for the priesthood and permanent diaconate, Breda, Netherlands.