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C HRISTIAN THEOLOGY : HUMAN ACTIVITY OF BRINGING A RELIGIOUS TRADITION INTO CONVERSATION WITH OUR CONTEMPORARY SITUATION IN A MUTUALLY CRITICAL WAY AS TO DEEPEN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO LIVE ALL OUR FAITH AND TRANSFORM THE WORLD . Human Activity - use reason - Theology: classic definition, “faith seeking understanding” (Augustine 354-430 CE) Tradition – transmission of received teaching or practice. Into conversation – Theology is process and progress: - Process is a conversation between religious society, tradition, and person including critical reflection and interpretation. - Contemporary situation : social, cultural, political, scientific influences interpretation - Ongoing conversation: cannot come to a definite end. - In conflict with idea that on going conversation cannot end: May 1994 Ordinatio Sacerdalis PJP II, no more conversation about women priests. Critical Way – - Postmodern thought - Hermeneutics of suspicion- suspicion of received interpretation due to recognition that tradition may be serving to enforce power structure of self-interest. - Contrast – The Nature and Mission of Theology: Approaches to Understanding its Role In the Light of Present Controversy , Ratzinger 1993 - Must Catholics believe everything the pope, bishop, or council says? No. o Attitude of respect o Hierarchy of truths (some things more important than others) o Formation of conscience- Thomas Aquinas Product – process constructs theological statements or doctrine (creed, prayer, book/scripture) Transformation – results in personal and social transformation Example: Theology of Redemption - 4-7 th c. Jesus as devil-ransom, context of slavery - 11 th c. Anselm of Canterbury – satisfaction theory, feudal knight honor code - Today liberation from oppression: Jesus died because he was trying to liberate. How to evaluate theological statements: 1. Scriptural basis: themes not just one statement 2. Support in tradition: hierarchy of the church, Protestant community 3. Credible statement: does it make sense? 4. Connects with experience: sensus fidelum- does this connect with our personal experience Protestant and Catholic Approaches to Belief and Practice: Protestant- use scripture alone as authoritative norm Catholic- scripture and tradition handed down through church Fundamentalism: - Reaction against threat of change - Attempts to freeze religious beliefs and practices in a particular form; “traditional family values” of religious right in politics. - Exclusivist- denies legitimacy of other interpretations of scripture or tradition
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- Finds comfort in certainty Catholic Fundamentalism: everything pope or Vatican says is without error - Fear moral relativism so need to be directed by authority Fundamentalist Interpretation of Scripture: - Human authors were inspired by God to write exact words in the bible - Bible is taken literally and without error
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course THEO 111 taught by Professor Lim during the Spring '08 term at Xavier.

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