Most Read Articles*
- The Debate Over Light in Darkness and the Catholicity of Hans Urs von Balthasar
The publication of Alyssa Pitstick's Light in Darkness has raised questions about the status of von Balthasar's theology, in particular his theology of the descent of Jesus. The paper will consider her claims, and responses to her thesis, and those of others who have raised critical questions about his theology. It will not address the question as to the orthodoxy of his theology, but will ask how his theology can contain so many elements which stretch boundaries yet not attract official concern. It will consider his position on the descent into Hell, divine immutability, his Trinitarian thought and his position on the beatific vision of Jesus. It will compare his treatment with that given to the writing of Sobrino's Christology.
- The Resurrection: Nine Recent Approaches
Writings in biblical studies and Christology in recent years have shown a range of approaches regarding the theme of the resurrection. In this article the author surveys nine contributions to the topic and assesses them according to their strengths and weaknesses.
- Some Principles for the Evangelization of Younger Catholics in Secular Cultures
This paper proceeds on the assumption that many Catholic youth and young adults in secular cultures reach, relatively early in life, a plateau of religious involvement and commitment. This plateau is characterized by, among other things, a loose religious
affiliation but not an overt hostility to the tradition. In order to move beyond this
plateau those who work with these young people need to develop a pastoral response
that is sensitive to this cultural reality. A number of guiding factors and principles are
suggested such as the difficulty of the task and the need to focus more on proactive
proclamation. Many of these strategies are reflective of the need for a new
evangelization as envisaged by Pope John Paul II.
- Covenant and Myth: Can Reformed Theology Survive without Adam and Eve
Reformed theology is a diverse movement, and has found many ways to interact with the presence of mythical stories in scripture. There is a strong tendency, however, to draw a 'line in the sand' at the historical existence of Adam because of the function that he plays in the history of the covenants - particularly the 'covenant of works'. This article problematises that line by suggesting that it is possible to build an authentically Reformed and covenantal theology without a historical Adam.
- Faith as Sight? Toward a Phenomenology of Revelation
This article addresses the complex polarities inherent in the biblical presentation of faith "seeing" and "not seeing", absence and presence, the light of faith and its darkness, the witness of the Spirit and the "unbearable" fullness of revelation . The history of theology suggests another mode of seeing/ knowing by way of love as instanced in the gifts of the Spirit. Though there is no theoretic synthesis of these diverse aspects, a contemporary phenomenology of revelation can serve to keep all these aspects in fruitful tension, and thereby enrich the theology of faith and revelation.
- A Wilderness Journey: In Search of Mental Health
What does it mean to be mentally healthy? Is it merely the absence of mental illness or is there more to it than that? And what of the several contradictions between theological and psychological perceptions of what it means to be human? What insights might be gained by exploring and perhaps even reconciling what may be only apparent contradictions? Two contradictions of significance to human life-formation â€“ consciousness and redemption â€“ are explored here within the framework of Raimon Pannikar's theological anthropology. The overall assertion is that what it means to be a human person is synonymous with what it means to be mentally healthy. It is this realisation that demands a critical conversation between theology and psychology, and that this conversation take place in a context of pastoral care. A context of pastoral care ensures person becomes and remains the focal point, rather than becoming the peripheral 'data' of intellectual theory.
- Navigating the Circle of Interreligious Dialogue and Theologies of Religions
This article considers questions about the relationship between a theology of religions and the concrete experience of dialogue with the religious other. Do our theologies dispose us in certain ways for interreligious dialogue? Does dialogue inform theology? Does dialogue or theology take precedence in a religiously pluralistic context? The works of Bernard Lonergan and Frederick Crowe are used to chart a constructive path towards a theology of religions that makes comparative theology and dialogue integral to it. The article also suggests that such a theology of religions arises out of the very dynamic of confessing the faith.
- Towards a More Positive Appreciation of the Faith of Muslims: Theological Resolution of Vatican Ambivalence
Dominus Iesus argues for a distinction between faith and belief in other religions. From a literal reading one would then conclude that Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Zoroastrians do not have faith, but only beliefs. Witnessing the devout lives of many Muslims through their prayer, fasting, almsgiving, pilgrimage and service to others (and the similar devotion of many believers from other religions), such a negative assessment is untenable. Moreover, it comes across as mean-spirited and lacking in openness to the presence and action of the Spirit and the Word in the other, both of which are clearly upheld in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the subsequent magisterium. I will show that the distinction between faith as "a personal adherence to God" and faith as "free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed" is best expressed in the now commonly accepted distinction between faith and beliefs. This enables a positive appreciation of the faith status of believers from other religions that is both solidly grounded in the Christian theological tradition without compromising doctrinal integrity and is at the same time open and receptive to the religious other.
- The Paraclete as Successor in the Johannine Farewell Discourse: A Comparative Literary Analysis
In recent years scholars have become aware of the ways in which John 13-17
imitates but also subverts the conventions of ancient farewell discourse genres. The
purpose of this article will be to analyse selected examples of farewell discourses from
the Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions in order to evaluate the Johannine Farewell
Discourse in their light. The contribution that this article makes to the topic relates
particularly to how the Paraclete functions as a 'unique' successor/mediator figure,
effectively 'skewing' the testament genre. In conclusion, some suggestions are made
about the possible social function of this literary invention for the Johannine community.
- Rolling in Dough: Yeast and Bread in the Gospel of Luke
The Parable of the Yeast in the Gospel of Luke challenges its hearers’ perspectives on the reign of God, inviting them to perceive the transformation produced by the yeast as vital to God’s ways. This story of bread-making also provides insight into several Lukan pericopes which feature bread, including those where Jesus breaks bread and gives it to others to eat. This study explores how the challenges of the parable inform our reading of these bread stories and highlights the link between Jesus’ table fellowship and justice. It also considers the implications of the Lukan use of bread-making and bread for our Eucharistic celebrations today.
*Based on the number of full-text downloads in the first two weeks of the papers being posted and across all issues