Roger D. Haight, S.J.
The eighty years of Theological Studies bear witness to the birth of American Catholic theology. This article traces that development through five stages. During its first two decades scholasticism reigned and authority was watchful. Vatican II then introduced a period of change, followed by a thirty-five-year creative phase in which a modern consciousness discussed new issues. By the final period corresponding to Francis’s papacy, an American Catholic theology was in place.
Evolution raises problems for some Christian beliefs, such as the character of God’s creating act, whether God intervenes in nature’s consistency, God’s purpose in the light of nature’s randomness, and whether we can refer to anything specific God does in history. This article addresses these issues first with some abstract conceptions of God, and then with considerations of the nature of God creating, the immanence and transcendence of God, and God’s “action” in the world. It concludes with reflections on the Christian life in the light of this theological construction.