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In Dialogue with Augustine
In Hermeneutics and the Church, James A. Andrews presents a close reading of De doctrina christiana as a whole and places Augustine's text into dialogue with contemporary theological hermeneutics. The dialogical nature of the exercise allows Augustine to remain a living voice in contemporary debates about the use of theology in biblical interpretation. In particular, Andrews puts Augustine's hermeneutical treatise into dialogue with the theologians Werner Jeanrond and Stephen Fowl. Andrews argues on the basis of De doctrina christiana that the paradigm for theological interpretation is the sermon and that its end is to engender the double love of God and neighbor. With the sermon as the paradigm of interpretation, Hermeneutics and the Church offers practical conclusions for future work in historical theology and biblical interpretation. For Augustine scholars, Andrews offers a reading of De doctrina that takes seriously the entirety of the work and allows Augustine to speak consistently through words written at the beginning and end of his bishopric. For theologians, this book provides a model of how to engage theologically with the past, and, more than that, it offers the actual fruits of such an engagement: suggestions for the discipline of theological hermeneutics and the practice of scriptural interpretation.
All participants in late medieval debates recognized Holy Scripture as the principal authority in matters of Catholic doctrine. Popes, theologians, lawyers—all were bound by the divine truth it conveyed. Yet the church possessed no absolute means of determining the final authoritative meaning of the biblical text—hence the range of appeals to antiquity, to the papacy, and to councils, none of which were ultimately conclusive. Authority in the late medieval church was a vexing issue precisely because it was not resolved.
Liberation theology emphasizes the Christian mission to bring justice to the poor and oppressed. As a part of Christian theology, liberation theology has been most frequently associated with the Catholic Church in Latin America. This groundbreaking work seeks to identify how the theological concepts of liberation theology might be manifested within other world faith traditions.
This is thus the first book that attempts to find a “common ground” for liberation theology across religions. All of the contributors are scholars who share the religion or belief system they describe. Throughout, they endeavor to articulate liberationist concepts from the perspective of those who have been marginalized.
Lonergan and Contemporary Continental Thought
In Deference to the Other brings contemporary continental thought into conversation with that of Bernard Lonergan (1904–1984), the Jesuit philosopher and theologian. This is an opportune moment to open such a dialogue: philosophers and theologians indebted to Lonergan have increasingly found themselves challenged by the insights of thinkers typically dubbed “postmodern,” while postmodernists, most notably Jacques Derrida, have begun to ask the “God question.” While Lonergan was not a continental philosopher, neither was he an analytic philosopher. Concerned with both epistemology and cognition, his systematic and hermeneutic-like proposals resonate with the concerns of philosophers such as Derrida, Foucault, Levinas, and Kristeva. Contributors to this volume find insight and affiliation between Lonergan’s thought and contemporary continental thought in a wide-ranging work that engages the philosophical problems of authenticity, self-appropriation, ethics, and the human subject.