A journal of academic theology

Theological Studies

Poverty of the Church—Poverty of Culture: A Contribution of Giuseppe Dossetti to Vatican II

Giuseppe Dossetti was an important figure not only in Italian politics, in the reform of historical studies, and in the history of new monasticism, but also at Vatican II. One topic in particular—poverty—was at the core of his contribution to the activity of Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, archbishop of Bologna, at the council. The article analyzes

The Definitive Exercise of Teaching Authority

The author first explains that the pope and bishops exercise their teaching authority definitively and infallibly when they oblige the faithful to give their irrevocable adherence of faith to a revealed truth, or firmly to accept and hold a truth that is necessarily connected to revelation. He then discusses the replies that Joseph Ratzinger has

The Grace–Nature Distinction and the Construction of a Systematic Theology

The author considers the ongoing significance of the grace–nature distinction for systematic theology, the role the distinction has made historically, and current debates on its validity. He proposes that two developments advanced by Bernard Lonergan, the scale of values and the four-point hypothesis, can reinvigorate the distinction and ground new developments in systematic theology for

The Integrity of Nature in the Grace–Freedom Dynamic: Lonergan’s Critique of Bañezian Thomism

Lonergan makes unique, balanced contributions to the debates on the relationship between the natural and supernatural and on the grace–freedom dynamic (the de auxiliis controversy), particularly in his critique of Bañezianism. His understanding of the human intellect in relation to the supernatural order and his defense of the natural integrity of created freedom are remarkably

“For the Many”: The Vicarious-Representative Heart of Joseph Ratzinger’s Theology

The concept of vicarious representation (Stellvertretung) is central to Joseph Ratzinger’s thought. He uses it, with its correlative concept of pro-existence, to develop a theology in which “the few” are the starting point from which God saves “the many.” This article examines the concept’s influence on Ratzinger’s soteriology, Christology, and ecclesiology. It concludes by exploring

Sign of Reconciliation and Conversion? Differing Views of Power—Ecclesial, Sacramental, Anthropological—among Hierarchy and Laity

Monika Hellwig’s 1982 history and theology of the sacrament of penance, Sign of Reconciliation and Conversion, is representative of the expectations that theologians and pastoral ministers had for expanded forms of the sacrament. Pope John Paul II’s 1984 exhortation, “Reconciliation and Penance,” produced a contrasting history to assert private confession to a priest as the

What Might Bernard Lonergan Say to Bruce Morrill?

In his analysis of Monika Hellwig’s and John Paul II’s thought on penance, Bruce Morrill identifies a breakdown of shared meaning in the church. This response introduces Bernard Lonergan into the conversation. If Morrill has identified a collapse of consensus around sacramental reconciliation, Lonergan’s theological anthropology, especially regarding questions related to conversion and authenticity, may

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