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Liturgical Press

Teaching with Authority

A Theology of the Magisterium in the Church

Richard R. Gaillardetz

Teaching with Authority
Teaching with Authority

ISBN: 9780814655290, 5529

Details: 312 pgs, 5 3/8 x 8 1/2 x 1/2
Publication Date: 02/01/1997
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"What are the implications of Vatican II for the understanding and concrete exercise of doctrinal teaching authority in the Catholic Church?" Teaching with Authority faithfully represents the teaching of Roman Catholicism on the Church's doctrinal authority while highlighting areas where a gap remains between an ecclesiological vision of the Church informed by Vatican II and the popular understanding and concrete exercise of that authority in the life of the Church today.

Dr. Gaillardetz shows that Vatican II did not so much produce one new ecclesiology as it recovered a number of ecclesiologies from biblical and patristic sources. Using images like the people of God, body of Christ, temple of the Holy Spirit, and pilgrim Church, along with such concepts as mystery, communion, and sacrament, the council breathed new life into reflection on the nature and mission of the Church. Since Vatican II, much work has been done by ecclesiologists to explore the new directions suggested by the Council. This book contributes to that post-conciliar project by developing a comprehensive theology of doctrinal teaching authority consonant with the ecclesiological vision of Vatican II.

Theologians and graduate students of Roman Catholic ecclesiology will benefit from the scholarship behind Teaching with Authority. And, because of its comprehensive yet non-technical treatment of doctrinal authority in the Roman Catholic Church, it's also a useful reference for all in pastoral ministry—ordained and non-ordained.

Teaching with Authority's structure reflects the traditional three-fold distinction among the subject of doctrinal teaching, the object of doctrinal teaching, and the exercise or act of doctrinal teaching. However, the developments of the Second Vatican Council remind us of the importance of a fourth category, the reception of Church teaching by the whole people of God, which this work addresses.

Chapters in Part One are: "The Renewal of Ecclesiology at the Second Vatican Council," and "The Teaching Office of the Church." Chapters in Part Two are: "What the Church Teaches: In Service of the Word of God," and "What the Church Teaches: Gradations of Church Doctrine." Chapters in Part Three are: "How the Church Teaches: The Assistance of the Holy Spirit," "How the Church Teaches: The Ordinary Magisterium," and "How the Church Teaches: The Extraordinary Magisterium." Chapters in Part Four are: "Receiving and Responding to the Word: Corporate Reception of Church Teaching," and "Receiving and Responding to the Word: Personal Reception of Church Teaching."

Each chapter includes a select bibliography of English language resources aimed at the non-specialist. Dr. Gaillardetz concludes with a brief reflection on the future of the Church's teaching ministry.

Richard R. Gaillardetz, PhD, (1958-2023), was an assistant professor of systematic theology at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary in Houston, Texas. He was also the author of Witnesses to the Faith: Community, Infallibility and the Ordinary Magisterium of Bishops and had written articles for Church, Louvain Studies, Horizons, Diakonia, Worship, Eglise et Théologie, and The Journal of Religious Ethics.

ISBN: 9780814655290, 5529

Details: 312 pgs, 5 3/8 x 8 1/2 x 1/2
Publication Date: 02/01/1997


Knowledgable, and balanced, clear and expansive, this overview—reaching from Yves Congar to Paul VI and John Paul II—of authority as ministry in the Church, offers a wealth of sources, information, and insights.
Thomas F. O'Meara, OP, University of Notre Dame

In his encyclical Ut Unum Sint Pope John Paul II called for renewed study of the nature and exercise of the Church's magisterium as one of the necessary steps toward Christian reunion. Richard Gaillardetz's Teaching with Authority is precisely the kind of careful, faithful and critical investigation which that papal invitation deserves. Balanced, thoroughly researched, attentive to the many complex issues involved in the topic, and clearly organized and written, this excellent book deserves to be widely read and used in academic classes and parish study groups.
Michael J. Himes, Boston College

With this volume Gaillardetz places himself among the ranking theologians of the teaching authority of the Church. . . . Well informed, lucidly written, and wisely balanced, this book could not have been written at a more opportune time. It is a reliable 'guide for the perplexed.'. . .
Peter C. Phan, Professor of Systematic Theology, The Catholic University of America

Richard R. Gaillardetz has written a helpful and important study of doctrinal teaching authority in the Roman Catholic Church.
Charles E. Curran, National Catholic Reporter

This is a scholarly, well-written and really excellent overview of recent theological reflection on teaching authority in the Catholic Church.
The Furrow

Anyone who wants deeper insights in the meaning of cc. 747-755 on the teaching authority of the Church would do well to read and study this book. It truly lives up to the promise of its subtitle: it is a systematic theology of the magisterium drawing on Church doctrine and the best contemporary scholarship in the theological disciplines and canon law. With a clear organization of content and an accessible style, it is suitable for a wide audience of theologians, canonists, students, and pastoral ministers.
Studia Canonia