How can Catholics find common ground in a divided Church, teaching and reflecting on their faith in a way that is at once critical, faithful to the Catholic tradition, and truly evangelical? In Reconciling Faith and Reason, Thomas Rausch, SJ, tackles academic theologians and the new conservative apologists, noting the strengths and liabilities of both. He looks at divisive questions of theological method, Scripture and doctrinal development, sexuality, liturgy, and evangelization, and concludes by proposing principles for doing theology in a divided Church.
Clergy and educated laity, especially lay ministers and religious educators, will find Reconciling Faith and Reason a good overview of present divisions in the Church and a practical source for finding a common ground in the life and concerns of ordinary Christians.
The first chapter traces the emergence and development of a renewed, yet overly academic Catholic theology. Chapter two focuses on the new apologists as a conservative reaction to the excesses of academic theology as well as to the changing nature of the Church. Chapter three, on Scripture, tradition, and Church, explores the relation of Scripture and tradition. Chapter four considers the question of the Church and sexuality. Chapter five focuses on liturgy and Eucharist. Chapter six assesses various efforts to express the Church's evangelical mission, both traditional and contemporary, and sketches the assumptions and concerns of a contemporary evangelical theology. The final chapter lifts up principles for doing theology in a divided church.
Chapters are "A Divided Church," "Contemporary Catholic Theology," "The New Apologists," "Scripture Tradition, and Church," "Sexual Morality," "Eucharist and Theology," "A New Evangelization," and "Towards Common Ground in Theology."
Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, PhD, is professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University. He is the author of Catholicism at the Dawn of the Third Millennium, and editor of The College Student's Introduction to Theology, published by The Liturgical Press.