A journal of academic theology

Peter C. Phan

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.

Scroll to Top