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The Eyes of Faith

the sense of the faithful and the church's reception of revelation

Ormond Rush

Publication Year: 2011

The Eyes of Faith presents a systematic theology of the sense of the faithful (sensus fidelium) and shows the fundamental and necessary interrelationship between sensus fidelium, tradition, Scripture, theology, and the magisterium.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. ix-x

I began research for this book during a six-month sabbatical in 2004. in that time, and over the following two years, i had the opportunity to dialogue about the sensus fidelium with biblical scholars and theologians, some of whom have read part or all of this text in various stages of development. Their conversations and written feedback have been invaluable. ...


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pp. xi-xiv

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pp. 1-12

The origins of the sensus fidelium lie in the origins of the church. The first disciples’ encounters with Jesus begin a process of interpreting his teaching, his actions, and his identity, but there is nevertheless a certain misunderstanding of him during his pre-Easter ministry. however, after his death and resurrection, and with the coming of the holy spirit, full Christian faith in him begins. ...

Part One. The Principle: The Holy Spirit, Faith, and Sensus Fidei

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1. The Holy Spirit and Revelation

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pp. 15-36

Lumen Gentium 12 teaches that all believers possess “a supernatural sense of the faith” which enables an infallibility in believing. This supernatural sense of the faith is “aroused and sustained by the spirit of truth.” A theology of the sensus fidelium must begin by attending to the role of the holy spirit in divine revelation. ...

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2. The Holy Spirit and the Church

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pp. 37-62

In the previous chapter, we discussed the early church’s experience of the Word as the principle of the endowment of grace, and of the spirit as the principle of its reception. We then reflected on the spirit within the triune life of God, and proposed analogies for understanding the spirit as the spirit of reception. ...

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3. The Holy Spirit and a Sense for the Faith

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pp. 63-88

Since faith is the reception of revelation, at the heart of the nature of the church as a community of reception is its nature as a community of faith. Faith is a gift of the holy spirit which has two fundamental dimensions: faith as believing, i.e., as a personal response to God’s loving initiative (fides qua creditur), and faith as beliefs and assent to beliefs, ...

Part Two. The Norm: Sensus Fidelium, Tradition, and Scripture

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4. Receiving Jesus Christ in the Spirit

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pp. 91-115

The production of the bipartite Christian Bible is the result of a process of reception and tradition involving the interpretative organon of the sensus fidei. This organon is at work from the very start of the Jesus tradition till the written expression par excellence of that tradition in the canon of new Testament writings, with its constant theological presupposition—the Jewish scriptures. ...

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5. Authority and the Canon of Scripture

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pp. 116-151

In addressing, in the previous chapter, the oral and literary formation of the Jesus tradition, the issue of communal authority was raised in terms of “approbative reception.” We now continue our exploration of authority by examining in greater detail the issue of approbative reception within the lives of the communities of the New Testament writings. ...

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6. The Inspiration of Scripture

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pp. 153-172

In this chapter, I propose, as an explanatory model, that the continuous interpretative and evaluative activity of the sensus fidei/fidelium throughout the production, canonical selection, and ongoing reception/traditioning of the set canonical text constitutes its inspiration by the Holy Spirit. We have already seen how “inspiration” was not necessarily an explicit reason/criterion for inclusion of works ...

Part Three . The Task: Sensus Fidelium, Theology, and Magisterium

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7. The Threefold Teaching Office of the Church

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pp. 175-214

The mission of the church is to tradition faithfully the reality it has received: God’s self-giving in Jesus Christ, made possible through the Holy Spirit, the principle of that gift’s reception. In the church’s fulfillment of that mission, the rubric of the “three offices of Christ” names three specific, albeit overlapping dimensions of church life. The specific “teaching office” is but one dimension. ...

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8. Sensus Fidei and the Individual Believer

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pp. 215-240

In part 3, we are examining the relationship between the sensus fidelium, theology, and the magisterium in the teaching office of the church. Determination of the sensus fidei fidelium, and its significance for theology and the magisterium, necessarily demands prior attention to the sensus fidei fidelis, the sense of the faith of the individual believer. ...

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9. Sensus Fidelium and Teaching the Faith of the Church

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pp. 241-292

Having explored the sensus fidei fidelis, we can now move to an exploration of the sensus fidei fidelium, or, more succinctly, the sensus fidelium. The twofold definition of sensus fidei fidelis likewise applies when speaking of the sensus fidei fidelium. The term can refer both to (1) a sensus or organon for the understanding, interpretation, and application of revelation, ...

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Epilogue: Ongoing Conversion of the Ecclesial Imagination

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pp. 293-298

The primary task of the teaching office is to teach the meaning and truth of what God has achieved and revealed through Jesus Christ in the spirit for the sake of humanity’s salvation. The norm for inspiring and regulating that task is the foundational apostolic reception of that salvific and revelatory event, as witnessed to in scripture and traditioned by the church. ...


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pp. 299-322


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pp. 323-330

E-ISBN-13: 9780813217109
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813215716

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2011