Senses of Tradition

Senses of Tradition : Continuity and Development in Catholic Faith

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Since the early Christian centuries, Roman Catholicism has accepted both scripture and tradition as authorities for church teaching on God, Christ, and salvation. Catholicism has never held a fundamentalistic view of scripture, holding instead that scripture is susceptible to interpretation. In the Middle Ages, this idea was formalized with the definition of four "senses" of scripture: literal, allegorical, anagogical, and moral. In response to the Reformation, however, tradition gradually came to be identified most closely with papal authority and ultimately with the papal prerogative of infallibility. In this book, John Thiel attempts to counter this tendency towards "ecclesiastical fundamentalism" by exploring the susceptibility of tradition to a variety of interpretive meanings. He argues that tradition should be understood as a developing reality rooted in the experience of the whole community of believers, and doctrine as a revisable expression of historical faith in time and culture. He goes on to define four possible interpretive "senses" of tradition - comparable to those recognized in scripture - and considers their theological significance. These senses, he argues, can provide a new and clearer framework for thinking both about how tradition abides and how tradition develops in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 162.6 x 237.7 x 22.6mm | 603.29g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0195137264
  • 9780195137262
  • 1,228,784

Review quote

As a practical example of a narrative-ecclesial hermeneutic, this work promises a new way of doing theology, traditionally. Senses of Tradition both continues and develops the Catholic faith: it identifies a spiritual problem for the church and utilizes the Spirit formed resources of the church to resolve the problem. This is both a theological challenge and a promising practical-ecclesial development. * William Wesley Elkins, Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 8, Issue 3, June 2001 * Thiel's book is interesting because he takes on a tricky problem and tries to render a solution truly Catholic yet suggestive of comparable solutions for comparable problems in other Christian traditions. * Journal of Theological Studies, vol.52,no.2 *show more

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