A journal of academic theology

From Magisterium to Magisteria: Recent Theologies of the Learning and Teaching Functions of the Church

In the aftermath of Vatican II, questions have been raised about the exercise of magisterium in the church. This study first examines the teaching authority of the episcopal conference, the doctrinal committee of episcopal conference, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Synod of Bishops. Next it examines the primary and secondary objects of episcopal magisterium, with special attention to the non-defined dogma and the “definitive doctrine” taught by the ordinary universal magisterium. Lastly it suggests ways forward in the understanding and exercise of the teaching function of the church, especially the priority of learning as the sine qua non condition for effective teaching, the shift from magisterium (in the singular) to magisteria (in the plural), and new modes of teaching appropriate for our digital age.
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