A journal of academic theology

Volume 72 Number 1

The Development of Doctrine about Infants Who Die Unbaptized

The author traces the history of Catholic doctrine about the fate of infants who die unbaptized: (1) from Augustine’s teaching that they are condemned to hell where they suffer “the least of its pains“; (2) to the medieval doctrine of Limbo as the state in which those infants, although excluded from the vision of God,

Sex and Marriage in the Sentences of Peter Lombard

Scholastic theology first saw the light of day among the masters in the twelfth-century schools of Europe. Chief among the masters of theology was Peter Lombard, whose Sentences became the textbook in the universities of Europe until the 16th century. This article studies the theology of sex and marriage in Book 4 of the Sentences

Sine Culpa? Vatican II and Inculpable Ignorance

Lumen gentium no. 16’s genuine optimism for the salvation of non-Christians is nonetheless a heavily qualified one. Among other things, it applies only to those “who are, without fault, ignorant [sine culpa, ignorantes] of the Gospel of Christ and his Church.” This article examines (1) Vatican II’s understanding of such “inculpable ignorance” and its relationship

Oscar Romero’s Theology of Transfiguration

Releasing three of his four pastoral letters on August 6, the patronal feast day of El Salvador, Oscar Romero linked his Transfiguration homilies with his contributions to Catholic social teaching to reflect a theology of transfiguration rooted in three interrelated commitments: an eschatological understanding of Salvadoran history as part of salvation history; an ecclesiology firmly

Oncofertility and the Boundaries of Moral Reflection

Advances in medical technology provide regular opportunities to explore theological reflection and magisterial teaching at the border of science and conscience. This article reflects on one such advance involving fertility preservation for cancer patients. The authors argue that ovarian tissue transplantation (OTT) poses intriguing questions for Catholic teaching and theologians about reproductive technology.

What Happened at Trento 2010?

From July 24 to 27, 2010, some 600 theological ethicists from nearly 75 countries met in Trento, Italy, under the auspices of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. There they heard 30 plenary papers and opted to attend more than 240 concurrent presentations. This note studies the roots, mission, context, goals, and nature of

Economic Recession Work and Solidarity

The note treats ethical issues surrounding the 2008 to 2010 financial crisis and its aftermath, focusing on resources pertinent to Catholic economic-ethical responses. Four key, contested subjects are highlighted: economy’s descriptive and normative “axis“; causes of the recent meltdown in financial markets and prescriptions for preventing future crises; work and employment effects of the Great

Clerical and Religious Child Abuse: Ireland and Beyond

The note considers recent theological commentary on the clerical sexual abuse crisis in Ireland and beyond. It examines the nature and extent of the crisis within the Catholic Church through the lens of the Murphy and Ryan Reports. These two reports together provide an invaluable resource for understanding the theological, ethical, and ecclesiological dimensions of

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