A journal of academic theology

Volume 85 Number 1

Tomáš Halík: A Theology for the Post-Secular

This article presents the work of Czech theologian and priest Tomáš Halík as a theology for the post-secular. The first section outlines three general post-secular themes woven throughout his corpus: the blessedness of spiritual seeking, a receptivity to the critical insights of atheism, and the affirmation of doubt and uncertainty as an integral feature of Christian faith. The second section then demonstrates what is distinctive about Halík’s contribution: his engagement with themes of both plurality and uncertainty in a single theological schema. I argue this is an apt response to the post-secular dynamics of the nova effect—as outlined by Charles Taylor and others—that is otherwise lacking in the literature to date.

From Ecclesial Sin to Ecclesial Han: Ecclesiology Beyond “A Church of Sinners and Saints”

Debates within ecclesiology on the nature and possibility of ecclesial sin have regained interest in the midst of rising awareness of the church’s historical wrongs. Most theologies and metaphors of a sinful church, however, fail to consider the theological identity of the “sinned against” within the church. This article reads Andrew Sung Park’s theology of han (a Korean concept denoting a complex sense of woundedness) as the underside of sin against Karl Rahner’s theology of a church of sinners to point toward a vision of ecclesial han that attends to the woundedness within the church and its healing.

Rahner and Scheeben on Grace: Reexamining a Forgotten Resemblance

This article demonstrates the overlooked similarity between Scheeben’s and Rahner’s accounts of God’s self-communication to the human person through uncreated grace. It then argues that though Scheeben’s conception of God’s universal offer of grace evinces similarities with Rahner’s “supernatural existential,” Scheeben differs from Rahner by emphasizing the distinction between nature and grace. This study can help theologians to better situate Scheeben’s theology amid its current renaissance and to reappropriate Rahner’s basic insight about divine self-communication.

The “Hierarchy” of Truths in a New Context

This article revisits the debate leading to the inclusion of the notion of a “hierarchy” of truths in the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism to show that it not only concerns the presentation of Catholic doctrine in ecumenical dialogue but that it extends to all of Catholic teaching and practice and ought to serve as a guiding principle in the assessment of ecumenical agreements. Further, it argues that the soteriological criterion or horizon for properly weighing the truths of faith has yet to be fully received. The recent recognition of consensus on the basic truths relating to the doctrine of God’s saving grace between Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Reformed, and Catholic Communions represented by the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification has brought us into a new context, one that invites a more intentional application of this principle for the mutual recognition of shared faith.

From the Editor’s Desk

Five months after the start of his pontificate, Pope Francis sat down with Antonio Spadaro, SJ for a series of interviews that were later translated and then published simultaneously in sixteen Jesuit journals around the world. The resulting text, along with his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (published three months later), anticipates the leitmotifs that would recur in Francis’s teachings. One of these is the importance of encounter: “We must enter into the adventure of the quest for meeting God; we must let God search and encounter us.”1 Similarly, in Evangelii Gaudium, the pope “invite[s] all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them. . . . No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her.”2

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