A journal of academic theology

Volume 76 Number 1

March 2015 Editorial

“Redeeming Conscience,” the title of James Keenan’s moral note in this issue, startled me. Why would conscience need redeeming? Then I recalled Friedrich Schleiermacher’s definition of conscience: “We use the term ‘conscience’ to express the fact that all modes of activity issuing from our God-consciousness and subject to its prompting confront us as moral demands,

Mystagogy and Mission: The Challenge of Nonbelief and the Task of Theology

Christian engagement with nonbelievers is problematic when believing itself proves difficult
even for people of faith. A recovery of the original unity of the fides quae (the “content” of
faith held in belief) and the fides qua (how faith’s content is lived) can lead to a deeper sense
of believing. Rahner’s understanding of faith as a “mystagogy” that leads to mission serves
as a framework for recovering that original unity, and for addressing the contemporary
problem of belief, not only for nonbelievers, but also for believers themselves.

Tradition as Collective Memory: A Theological Task to Be Tackled

This article gathers and develops some fragmentary suggestions made by theologians
and Pope John Paul II about tradition as the collective memory of the church. In
the light of insights coming from anthropology, history, neuroscience, philosophy,
psychology, and sociology, the article proposes twelve ways for enriching a theology
of tradition. Modern memory studies can unite and clarify various aspects of a
theology of tradition, understood as collective memory.

Theology Today: Comparative Theology as a Catholic Theological Approach

Comparative theology is a relatively novel theological approach that revolves around a practice of comparative reading of authoritative religious documents. The International Theological Commission’s Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria (2012) develops a systematic-theological elaboration of the specificity of Catholic theology. Our author investigates the question whether and to what extent Theology Today may endorse

Otto Semmelroth and the Advance of the Church as Sacrament at Vatican II

Otto Semmelroth played a major role in advancing the notion of the church as sacrament at Vatican II. His preconciliar works as well as his participation in working groups and committees were instrumental in introducing this systematic concept into the 1963 draft of Lumen gentium. His commentaries on the document disclose how his own understanding

From Organic Growth to Liturgico-Plasticity: Reconceptualizing the Process of Liturgical Reform

Vatican II introduced the principle of “organic growth” to describe its preferred postconciliar liturgical reform process. Botanical interpretations have dominated scholarly readings of this analogy and restricted the emergence of richer analogies for understanding liturgical change. This article interprets “organic growth” in the liturgy via the analogy of neuroplasticity both to explore historic and prognostic

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