Tracey Rowland showcases here the dominant contemporary approaches to doing Catholic theology. Chapter 1 offers a summary of the two International Theological Commission (ITC) documents on the discipline of Catholic theology. These documents set out the general principles which should govern any approach to Catholic theology (at least according to the ITC). The subsequent chapters each focus on one of four different approaches frequently found in contemporary Catholic academies: the approach of Thomists, members of the Communio milieu, members of the Concilium milieu and promoters of different varieties of Liberation Theology.
Rowland’s work is pitched at the level of first time students of theology who are trying to make sense of the methodological choices which undergird the different approaches to Catholic theology.
“Catholic theology is renowned for its capacity to cope with mystery and with paradox and for its similarity to Gothic architecture.” (Page 16)
“It follows from the above that the Church is the comprehensive subject giving unity both to theologies and to dogmas as they arise throughout history.” (Page 15)
“The first of these principles is that ‘unity and plurality in the expression of the Faith have their ultimate basis in the very mystery of Christ that … goes beyond the possibilities of expression of any given age and thus eludes exhaustive systematisation’.” (Page 7)
“Principle nine of the ITC document acknowledges that the faith may be expressed differently in different cultures but nonetheless asserts that new cultural expressions need to be in union with the universal Church of the past and present.” (Page 18)
“Truth is in fact inseparable from event; otherwise we drift into formalism.” (Page 13)
It is hard to think of a better introduction to contemporary Catholic theology.
—Church of England Newspaper
Rowland, one of the finest Catholic theologians writing today, combines fundamental and historical theology, offers a wide range of insights into numerous theologians and movements, and provides an informative tour of the most significant schools of modern theology.
Puzzled about the nature of Catholic theology and what is at stake in arriving at a decisive, informed and robust answer? Tracey Rowland is both an outstanding guide to this complex theological field as well as a passionate and thoughtful advocate for a position within that field. Rowland is lucid and engaging in her prose, widely read and intelligently faithful to revelation and its ecclesial nature. It is little wonder that Rowland was made a member pf the International Theological Commission. This is an indispensable help to new students and seasoned theologians.
—Gavin D’Costa, University of Bristol, UK
In terms of recent Catholic Theology (and by that I mean the last 130 years) this is the best introduction yet written, without doubt. The clear, lucid style, married to encyclopaedic knowledge of all the in and outs of Catholic Theology is a sheer delight, and an amazing teaching aid. But more than that, Rowland offers a double gift insofar as this work is itself a most interesting work of theology. I could not recommend this book highly enough.
—Conor Cunningham, University of Nottingham, UK
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