What Is and What Ought to Be: The Dialectic of Experience, Theology, and Church by Michael G. LawlerWhat Is and What Ought to Be: The Dialectic of Experience, Theology, and Church by Michael G. Lawler

What Is and What Ought to Be: The Dialectic of Experience, Theology, and Church

byMichael G. Lawler

Paperback | April 5, 2005

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The genesis of this book was sown in 1961 in a seminar on theological method under the guidance of Bernard Lonergan. Lonergan was convinced that something new was happening in history, and that a living theology required a new theological approach. In this book, Michael Lawler is concerned with three characteristics of this new approach: that theology must be historical, empirical, and in interdisciplinary collaboration with the social sciences. The book thus explores the relationship between practical theology (which is concerned with the church as it is and as it ought to be) and sociology, and specifically the theological realities of sensus fidei and reception. The exploration is concretized by a consideration of the sociological data and theology of two Catholic moral doctrines: artificial contraception and divorce and remarriage without prior annulment. In addition to being a useful primer on the relationship between theology and sociology (both theoretical and empirical), the book provides a wonderfully clear description of the sea-changes that have occurred in Roman Catholic theology worldwide over the past 70 or so years. Among those elements are the turn to the subject; the sociology of knowledge; the distinctions between uncreated and created grace and between original and dependent revelation; a complex, non-fundamentalist understanding of Sacred Scripture; the preferential option for the poor; the notion of the church as communion rather than hierarchy; and, finally, the necessity for church teaching to be "received," accepted, by the whole church. If a Catholic Rip Van Winkle had fallen asleep 40 or 50 years ago, he would read this book, upon opening his eyes, with amazement.
Title:What Is and What Ought to Be: The Dialectic of Experience, Theology, and ChurchFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.94 × 6.02 × 0.63 inPublished:April 5, 2005Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0826417043

ISBN - 13:9780826417046


Table of Contents

Contents 1. Theology, Sociology, and Theologians 2. Theology and Sociology: Mutual Mediations 3. Sociology of Knowledge and Theology 4. Theology, Sociology, and Scripture 5. The Church Emerging in the Human Community 6. Reception and Sensus Fidei 7. Sociology, Divorce and Remarriage, Contraception

Editorial Reviews

"Michael Lawler has written a challenging invitation to theologians to incorporate social science in the construction of theological categories, and he has gone a good way in helping us to see how this is done. The book is particularly useful for the field of practical theology or (in Lonergan's terms) communications, but its relevance extends to the other tasks of direct discourse in theology as well. May we accept the challenge!"