The Christian life is an imitation of Christ's response to God–a religious response to God's initiative. We are called to make all responses–religion and morality–acts of adoring worship and praise. This sacramental theology is the fundamental moral theology of Bernard Häring, CSsR, whose contributions as a twentieth-century theologian have prepared the way of renewal in Catholic theology today.
Part One of this book introduces Bernard Häring and his place in the history of Roman Catholic moral theology. Part Two examines the central concepts of Häring's sacramental-moral theology: responsibility, Christ as Word of God and High Priest, the human person as word and worshiper, and the sacraments as dialogue and response. In Part III the author illustrates how Häring takes a minor category–the virtue of religion–and places it at the center of moral life.
Chapters under Part I: Bernard Häring and Roman Catholic Moral Theology are "Reassessing Bernard Häring's Moral Theology," and "Moral Theology and Sacramental Practice." Chapters under Part II: The Dogmatic Foundations of Häring's Sacramental-Moral Theology are "Word and Response: The Theological Foundations of the Religious-Moral Life," and "Sacraments as Word and Response." Chapters under Part III: The Christian Moral Life and the Virtue of Religion are "The Theological and Moral Virtues and the Virtue of Religion," and "The Interior and Exterior Acts of the Virtue of Religion." Chapters under the Conclusion are "Bernard Häring and Contemporary Proposals in Liturgy and Ethics: Critique and contributions."
Kathleen A. Cahalan, PhD, is assistant professor of pastoral theology and ministry at St. John's University, School of Theology, Seminary, Collegeville, Minnesota.
Bernard Häring was the foremost Catholic moral theologian in the world in the latter half of the twentieth century, but unfortunately many Catholic moral theologians today know little about his significant work. Kathleen Cahalan has done a great service for scholarship and the church by her lucid, perceptive, and supportive but critical study of how Häring brought together religion and morality as well as liturgy and moral theology. We are all in her debt for her splendid study of the past as well as for her insightful comments about how Häring's legacy can contribute to the future development of moral theology.
Charles E. Curran
Formed in the Image of Christ clarifies the thought of a key leader in the renewal of contemporary Catholicism, Bernard Häring, CSsR. It sheds light on Häring's moral theology and his understanding of the sacramental character of the Christian life. It explains how Härings work prepared the way for todays discussions concerning virtue ethics and also concerning liturgy and social justice. This book is an excellent contribution to the history of modern Catholic theology. It is well written and will readily engage a wide range of readers.
Robert Krieg, University of Notre Dame
Cahalan's work provides an excellent overview of the evolution of Roman Catholic sacramental and moral theology as the Tradition has evolved over time.
. . . this stimulating, influential moral teacher offers a systematic approach to moral theology that is systematic and thematically-integrated . . . [one that] accounts for both personal and social dimensions of the moral life'.
The Midwest Book Review
Kathleen Cahalan's work clearly and succinctly presents one with an overview of Bernard Haring's theological vision which has been so influential over the past five decades.
Catholic Books Review
The force of Cahalan's arguments point a way forward . . . If prudent people were urgent to think more about how worship is a natural virtue-something necessary to our knowing our responsibilities toward each other-then we would not only have greater dialogue between ethicists and liturgists; we would also have a church committed in its worship and its ethical teachings to be a faithful witness to Christ, the lumen gentium.