The "Sense of the Faith" in History

Its Sources, Reception, and Theology
John J. Burkhard, OFM Conv

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ISBN: 9780814666890, 6689
Details: 456 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1
Publication Date: 01/03/2022

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While taught by Vatican II, the “sense of the faith” (sensus fidei) has had little official impact in the Catholic Church. What would the church look like if it took this conciliar teaching to heart? To address this neglect, John Burkhard locates the historical roots of the teaching and its emergence at Vatican II. It attempts to better understand the “sense of the faith” in the light of other fundamental teachings of the council and challenges the hierarchical church to invite all the faithful to rightfully participate in the prophetic ministry of the whole church, closely allied with Pope Francis’s call for a more synodal church.

John J. Burkhard, OFM Conv, PhD, taught systematics at the former Washington Theological Union; at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota; and in Ghana, West Africa. In 2004 he published Apostolicity Then and Now: An Ecumenical Church in a Postmodern World with Liturgical Press. He writes primarily on ecclesiology and continues to translate theological works from French and German.

"This major work on 'the sense of the faith' gives further evidence for why John Burkhard is one of the most important Catholic theologians working in the field of fundamental theology today. His extraordinary erudition, clarity of thought, and capacity for synthesis are all on full display in these pages, as is his deep commitment to the welfare of the church. Almost six decades since the close of the council, our church is still struggling to fully embrace the council's teaching that all the baptized faithful receive and penetrate the gift of God's Word and so contribute in crucial ways to the life and mission of the church. Burkhard's book is certain to help this central teaching gain wider acceptance and deeper appreciation in the church today."
Richard R. Gaillardetz, Boston College, author of By What Authority? Foundations for Understanding Authority in the Church

"With his encyclopedic knowledge of research into the topic of sensus fidei, John Burkhard does the church a great service with this book. He highlights the indispensable role the people’s 'sense of the faith' plays in the transmission of Christian faith throughout history. Above all, he shows the need for the church to be attentive continually to this expression of the lived faith of the people of God. For anyone wanting to understand Pope Francis’s vision of 'a synodal church… a church that listens', this book is a sure guide."
Ormond Rush, associate professor of theology and philosophy, Australian Catholic University

"For decades John Burkhard has been tracking the emergence of the doctrine of the 'sense of the faith' in official church teachings and influential theological contributions and debates. Here he offers his fullest assessment of these materials. This is an immensely important resource for understanding this history and identifying unresolved issues."
Bradford E. Hinze, Fordham University

"After having provided us over many decades with precious lists of annotated bibliography on the theme of sensus fidei, John J. Burkhard now comes out with a historical and systematic analysis on this crucial category of theological discourse. He demonstrates how central and vital sensus fidei is for the whole of theology. It is not only ecclesiology or fundamental theology that needs to recognize and study in depth this category, but also the theology of sacraments, the liturgy, and moral theology can benefit from the richness of this idea. This book can rightly be considered the opus magnum, the Lebenswerk (Life’s work) of a refined scholar of the history of theology and its traditions, as is John J. Burkhard. His analysis and his perspective are all played out in the theological climate of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar reflections regarding the rediscovery of sensus fidei."
Antonio Autiero, Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology, University of Münster

"John Burkhard has an unparalleled, and encyclopedic, knowledge of the literature on the “the sense of the faith” in the life of the church. His knowledge of the topic is the fruit of meticulous research that has extended over decades and encompasses an astounding array of sources. The “Sense of the Faith” in History distils Burkhard’s scholarship into a single volume that maps the theme in detail, providing an accessible overview of past and present theologies. This volume is a great gift for anyone interested in gaining insight into a topic that is foundational to Pope Francis’s desire for a more synodal church. "
Richard Lennan, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

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