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Two Stories of Liberal Society
Western liberal societies are characterized by two stories: a positive story of freedom of conscience and the recognition of community and human rights, and a negative story of unrestrained freedom that leads to self-centeredness, vacuity, and the destructive compromise of human values. Can the Catholic Church play a more meaningful role in assisting liberal societies in telling their better story? Australian ethicist Robert Gascoigne thinks it can. In The Church and Secularity he considers the meaning of secularity as a shared space for all citizens and asks how the Church can contribute to a sensitivity toùand respect forùhuman dignity and human rights. Drawing on AugustineÆs City of God and Vatican IIÆs Gaudium et spes, Gascoigne interprets the meaning of freedom in liberal societies through the lens of AugustineÆs ôtwo loves,ö the love of God and neighbor and the love of self, and reveals how the two are connected to our contemporary experience. The Church and Secularity argues that the Church can serve liberal societies in a positive way and that its own social identity, rooted in Eucharistic communities, must be bound up with the struggle for human rights and resistance to the commodification of the human in all its forms.
The Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007
One of the leading theologians of our time, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., has written and lectured on a wide range of topics across his distinguished career, and for a wide range of audiences. Integrating faith and scholarship, he has created a rich body of work that, in the words of one observer, is both faithful to Catholic tradition and fresh in its engagement with the contemporary world.Here, brought together for the first time in one volume, are the talks Cardinal Dulles has given twice each year since the Laurence J. McGinley Lectures were initiated in 1988, conceived broadly as a forum on Church and society. The result is a diverse collection that reflects the breadth of his thinking and engages with many of the most important-and difficult-religious issues of our day.Organized chronologically, the lectures are often responses to timely issues, such as the relationship between religion and politics, a topic he treated in the last weeks of the presidential campaign of 1992. Other lectures take up questions surrounding human rights, faith and evolution, forgiveness, the death penalty, the doctrine of religious freedom, the population of hell, and a whole array of theological subjects, many of which intersect with culture and politics. The life of the Church is a major and welcome focus of the lectures, whether they be a reflection on Cardinal Newman or an exploration of the difficulties of interfaith dialogue. Dulles responds frequently to initiatives of the Holy See, discussing gender and priesthood in the context of church teaching, and Pope Benedict's interpretation of Vatican II. Writing with clarity and conviction, Cardinal Dulles seeks to render the wisdom of past ages applicable to the world in which we live.For those seeking to share in this wisdom, this book will be a consistently rewarding guide to what it means to be Catholic-indeed, to be a person of any faith-in a world of rapid, relentless change.
Lutheran Liturgical Theology in Ecumencial Conversation
The Church in Act explores the dynamics of ecclesial and liturgical theology, examining the body of Christ in action. Maxwell E. Johnson, one of the premier liturgical specialists in the field, provides in this volume historical and doctrinal thinking on a diversity of liturgical subjects under the umbrella of Lutheran liturgical theology and in ecumenical conversation. The topics under consideration range from baptismal spirituality to Eucharistic concerns, including real presence, pneumatology, and reservation; discussions on what constitutes liturgical normativity, the diverse hermeneutical approaches to the Revised Common Lectionary, and the place of Mary in ecumenical dialogue and culture (especially Latino-Hispanic); issues of full communion based on a liturgical reading of the Augsburg Confession VII; and specific questions related to liturgy and ecumenism today in light of recent translation changes in Roman Catholic practice. Together, the volume offers a robust account of the liturgical, sacramental, and spiritual practices of the church for scholars, students, pastors, and others who seek to minister in an ecumenical context with increased understanding and insight.
The Church of the Holy Spirit, written by Russian priest and scholar Nicholas Afanasiev (1893–1966), is one of the most important works of twentieth-century Orthodox theology. Afanasiev was a member of the “Paris School” of émigré intellectuals who gathered in Paris after the Russian revolution, where he became a member of the faculty of St. Sergius Orthodox Seminary. The Church of the Holy Spirit, which offers a rediscovery of the eucharistic and communal nature of the church in the first several centuries, was written over a number of years beginning in the 1940s and continuously revised until its posthumous publication in French in 1971. Vitaly Permiakov's lucid translation and Michael Plekon's careful editing and substantive introduction make this important work available for the first time to an English-speaking audience.
Documents from the German Christian Faith Movement, 1932-1940
Decades after the Holocaust, many assume that the churches in Germany resisted the Nazi regime. In fact, resistance was exceptional. Almost all Germans were Christians, and almost all Christians in Germany stood by, becoming intentionally or unintentionally complicit in Nazi policies and practices.
In the early 1930s, a movement emerged within German Protestantism with the aim of fully integrating Nazi ideology, German national identity, and Christian faith. The Deutsche Christen or, “German Christians,” as they were called, interpreted the Christian faith and the role of the church in society in service of the Nazi revolution. They married centuries-old Christian anti-Judaism to the Nazis’ racial antisemitism and sought to eradicate all traces of Judaism from Christianity. The “German Christian” publication program, designed to advance their ideology, included books and pamphlets, radio talks and speeches, as well as liturgies and retranslations of Scripture.
For the first time in English, Mary M. Solberg presents a selection of representative documents of the “German Christians.” Her introduction to the volume sets the historical context of the movement and offers short introductions to each of the specific readings. The collection includes key responses critical of the German Christians by Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, among others.
Karl Barth's Ethics
While Karl Barth is one of the most significant theologians of the twentieth century, his contribution to ethics is less well known and subject to controversy among interpreters. Barth combined his commitment to the church and its particular task in faith and theology with a concern for ethics and politics in wider society. By examining the historical development of Barth’s ethics, this study traces the vital influences and considerable shifts in Barth’s understanding of the ethical task, situating him within his political context. Alexander Massmann provides a comprehensive explication and assessment of the full scope of Barth’s ethics, from the first edition of the Romans commentary to the final volume of the Church Dogmatics. General questions of Barth’s methodology in ethics and case studies in applied ethics are both analyzed in their intricate connection to his dogmatic thought. The study highlights how an ethical approach emerged in which the freedom of the gospel allows for considerable openness to empirical insights from other disciplines. The author reevaluates Barth’s ethics in a constructive vision of the role of the church in the quest for a just society.
A new English-language resource on Clare and the Poor Ladies of San Damiano. Alberzoni provides a careful, contextual reading of the sources surrounding the foundation of the group living with Clare in the decades of change after the death of Francis.