Catholic Systematic Theology

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2015 12:18 PM

James Taylor:
Ok, so between the Catechism, Summa, Hunter and Pohle (the ones that I own) I should be able to clearly see the standard Catholic perspective now.

Yes, most of the time that should work pretty well. Smile

On certain issues where there is a (legitimate by Catholic standards) diversity of theological opinion, you may not be exposed to the full diversity, but you should at least get an acceptable Catholic opinion.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2015 12:55 PM

James Taylor:

Ok, so between the Catechism, Summa, Hunter and Pohle (the ones that I own) I should be able to clearly see the standard Catholic perspective now. Thank you all for helping me narrow down my "go to" resources for this.

Er.. ah.. you changed the rules a bit. First you said "Roman Catholic" which I usually take to mean Western Catholicism. Now you say "standard Catholic". which I take to be broader. The references given speak to the Western rites not to the Eastern rites.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2015 2:16 PM

yes I apologize thank you for pointing that out. I did mean Roman Catholic not Eastern Orthodox or generally Catholic

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2015 2:41 PM

I'm not quite sure that you understood my comment. Do you realize that the Catholic church defined as those churches that recognize Pope Francis includes 27 or so Eastern rite churches as well as the Western rites commonly referred to as "Roman Catholic"? I was referring to these uniate churches not the Eastern Orthodox.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2015 3:37 PM

yes I do remember you showing a chart of this when discussing the systematic theology tool I just didn't use the correct language to express it I guess

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James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2015 3:51 PM

MJ. Smith:
Do you realize that the Catholic church defined as those churches that recognize Pope Francis includes 27 or so Eastern rite churches as well as the Western rites commonly referred to as "Roman Catholic"

This is the one I was referring to, and to be more specific, before you posted this, I wasn't aware of the Eastern Rite

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2015 6:44 PM

Yup, I know I harp on it but especially with the Eastern Christians becoming refugees, I really do want us to understand who these people are.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 892
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 6:01 AM

God bless:

The posts in this thread are really neat. With the danger of being out of bounds:

Is Moral Theology a part of Systematic Theology?, and if so, what resources in your opinion deal with it more in detail and thoroughly?.

(Protestants think Moral Theology is a part of Philosophy, Catholics think is at the very heart of Christianity, as we are called to a "radical moral change".

Thanks ahead of time for guidance and input on this.

Blessings.

Posts 448
Mark Nolette | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 6:03 AM

A fascinating discussion! Sorry to get in on this a little late.  

Certainly, all the works mentioned here would be a solid introduction to Catholic systematic theology. However, to the Catechism I would add the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Otherwise, there would be a whole realm of Church teaching that one might miss entirely. 

Secondly, though all Catholic theologians (presumably) share a common doctrine (yes, one could debate that with some!), not all share a common style. The way of doing theology in the Eastern Catholic Churches looks different, even if the doctrine is the same. The same can be said for any of the Fathers or Doctors of the Church. Aquinas and Rahner look different, primarily because (to put it simplistically) Aquinas is in dialogue with Aristotle, and Rahner with Kant. The point is that one should read solid theology in different styles, to get a fuller sense of the depth and breadth of Catholic teaching.  I recommend Robert Barron's Catholicism as a good attempt at systematic theology for the masses, so to speak.  

Thirdly (depending on how much time one has), once you've gotten a good sense of solid Catholic systematic theology from sources that are unquestionably orthodox, it might be good to dip into some contemporary theologians who may seem a bit fuzzy on some teachings. McBrien's Catholicism is about twenty years old, but it gives you a taste for the range of opinions in the Catholic theological community. Once you have solid doctrine, you are in a better position to evaluate all this range. Some insights are worth keeping; others are a bit too far from center. Elizabeth Johnson is also a good one to dip into, for the same reasons and with the same caveats.  Both are usually very up front as to what they are about, which is an asset.  

I've probably just outlined a whole course in Catholic systematic theology, which may be way more than most people are ready to undertake. But once you get the bug, so to speak, you'll want to keep going "further up and further in"!  

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 6:35 AM

Hamilton Ramos:

... Is Moral Theology a part of Systematic Theology? ..

Wikipedia has an article that outlines what many would say the categories of Systematic Theology are:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systematic_theology

Posts 892
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 7:24 AM

God bless:

Hello Mark N.: what is your opinion of the following resource?

https://www.logos.com/product/31207/the-priority-of-christ-toward-a-postliberal-catholicism

Do you know of any theologian that considers Moral Theology a part of Systematic Theology, and who in your opinion treats best the Moral theology, and in what resource?

Thanks for any guidance.

Hi Steve:

The wikipedia link that you refer, seems to me to be biased to the protestant side, they do not consider Moral Theology as a theology branch, but consider it a Christian ethics branch.

So I wanted to know from an orthodox Catholic view (if there is such) if Moral Theology is considered a part of Catholic Systematic Theology, or if it is considered something different and apart from ST.

Also I would like to know what resources are considered best for the study of Moral Theology (Catholic view).

Blessings.

Posts 448
Mark Nolette | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 1:35 PM

Hamilton Ramos:

God bless:

Hello Mark N.: what is your opinion of the following resource?

https://www.logos.com/product/31207/the-priority-of-christ-toward-a-postliberal-catholicism

Do you know of any theologian that considers Moral Theology a part of Systematic Theology, and who in your opinion treats best the Moral theology, and in what resource?

Thanks for any guidance.

I haven't read The Priority of Christ yet, so I can't say much about it from experience. I can say that the book has been well-received generally, and has a nice forward from Cardinal George.  

Although, technically speaking, moral theology can be considered a subset of systematic theology, in practice. the two have evolved into separate specialties, it seems. That is understandable as moral theology itself covers a multitude of topics. One can argue that Thomas Aquinas treats moral theology as a part of systematic theology, though in the thirteenth century those terms would not have been used as we use them now. Both the Catechism and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church do this, even if they don't say it outright. As for moral theologians, if you want to start with a solidly orthodox approach, The Way of The Lord Jesus by Germain Grisez is a good place to begin. When I was studying theology, people like Charles Curran and Richard McCormick were all the rage. In some ways, they could be very good. But in other areas, they argued for positions that weren't quite in harmony with the Magisterium, let's say!  I hope others chime in with other recommendations. There are a number of good moral theologians out there.  

Edit: One more thought. Let me add that though it is essential to be grounded in the teaching of the Church, I believe it is also helpful to read people who may challenge this or that teaching, whether in small ways or more substantial ways. That serves at least two worthy purposes: you get to understand how some other theologians think, and you get to understand the teachings of the Church more profoundly as you deal with the challenges. For this reason, I pre-ordered Richard McBrien's Catholicism for my Verbum, and I would also order at least two of Elizabeth Johnson's works if they were available. Both are systematic theologians, but are worth reading for these reasons. The same can be said about Richard McCormack or other moral theologians who may seem to be "on the edge" in this or that area.  

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 9:01 PM

Hamilton,

I think I didn't provide enough precision in my response with the link.  Just to make sure, I understand your initial question to be: Is Moral Theology a part of Systematic Theology?  If that is the question, then the answer would generally be considered no.  That is not a slight to Moral Theology.

The link to the Wikipedia article contains a section outlining what the categories of Systematic theology are.  You can do a search on "types" or "categories" or "areas" of Systematic Theology and find any number of lists from any number of faith perspectives (including Catholic) from any number of universities and/or colleges (including Catholic) with the same list, perhaps with some slight phrasing differences.

As you know all disciplines of theology are connected.  There is no conflict.  Moral Theology is different than Systematic Theology, but a related discipline.  Again, no slight to Moral Theology.  Philosophy is not Systematic Theology, Spirituality is not Systematic Theology, Theology of Liturgy is not Systematic Theology, Theology of History is not Systematic Theology, etc.  But all related.  All good and helpful.

With that question answered, is there a different question you are asking?  Something different than the category of theological study?

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 9:29 PM
Author Birth Death Nationality Title Logos URL Status
Abelly, Louis 1604 1691 French Medulla theologica: ex sacris scripturis conciliorum pontificumque decretis et sanctorum patrum ac doctorum placitis expressa - to get
Abelly, Louis 1604 1691 French Les veritez principales, & plus importantes de la foi, & de la justice chrétienne - to get
Balthasar, Hans Urs von 1905 1988 Swiss Explorations in Theology https://www.logos.com/product/30286/select-works-of-hans-urs-von-balthasar Live
Balthasar, Hans-Urs von 1905 1988 Swiss La théologique - to get
Berington, Joseph, and John Kirk 1743 1827 English The Faith of Catholics https://www.logos.com/product/32038/the-faith-of-catholics Live
Canisius, Petrus 1521 1597 Dutch Summa Doctrinae Christianae https://www.logos.com/product/32557/summa-doctrinae-christianae-vol-1 Live
Coppens, Charles 1835 1920 American A Systematic Study of the Catholic Religion https://www.logos.com/product/20887/neo-scholastic-theology-and-philosophy-collection#004 CP
Fiorenza, Francis, and John Galvin ? -;- American Systematic Theology https://www.logos.com/product/26708/systematic-theology-roman-catholic-perspectives-2nd-ed Live
Guarino, Thomas ? - American Foundations of Systematic Theology https://www.logos.com/product/7400/foundations-of-systematic-theology Live
Hauser, Daniel C. ? ? ? Church, Worship and History: Catholic Systematic Theology - to get
Hunter, Sylvester Joseph 1829 1896 American Outlines of Dogmatic Theology https://www.logos.com/product/13855/outlines-of-dogmatic-theology Live
Lombard, Peter ca 1100 1160 ? Four Books of Sentences - to get
Lombard, Pierre ca 1100 1160 French Les quatre livres des Sentences - to get
Maritain, Jacques 1882 1973 French Approaches to God - to get
Maritain, Jacques 1882 1973 French The Degrees of Knowledge - to get
Müller, Gerhard Ludwig 1947 - German Katholische Dogmatik: Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie - to get
Ott, Ludwig 1906 1985 German Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma - Live
Ott, Ludwig 1906 1985 German Grundriß der Katholischen Dogmatik - to get
Pohle, Joseph 1852 1922 American Dogmatic Theology https://www.logos.com/product/4724/dogmatic-theology Live
Rahner, Karl 1904 1984 German The Foundations of Christian Faith - to get
Rahner, Karl 1904 1984 German Traité fondamental de la foi - to get
Ratzinger, Joseph 1927 - German Introduction to Christianity https://www.logos.com/product/25026/introduction-to-christianity Live
Wilhelm, Joseph, and Thomas B. Scannell ; 1854 ; 1917 ? A Manual of Catholic Theology https://www.logos.com/product/35404/a-manual-of-catholic-theology Live
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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 2 2015 4:20 AM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
(...) 

So when do the rest get released in Logos format?   Wink

Posts 274
Average Joe | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 2 2015 7:19 AM

Hamilton Ramos:

Also I would like to know what resources are considered best for the study of Moral Theology (Catholic view).

Germain Grisez's The Way of the Lord Jesus would definitely be up there.  I see it get mentioned a lot.

https://www.logos.com/product/34188/the-way-of-the-lord-jesus 

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Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 2 2015 2:01 PM

God bless you all:

Thank you for the answers and input. I am ordering the Way of our Lord Jesus. I will also see the other recommended resources to see if they help me get a better understanding of Moral Theology.

After researching a bit in L6, I found out that Moral Theology was considered to be the heart of Catholicism at one time. The reason was that for our salvation, we had to in real life achieve a "radical moral transformation", so that we would be more Christ like.

That concept really touched me, and I wanted to know how the Catholics go about that: it seems that in the past, the sacraments were considered key.

I was shocked to learn that the protestants considered Moral Theology a branch of Philosophy, and having nothing to do with Systematic theology.

I consider that that stance should be re-evaluated. To grow into Christ likeness, there is a part that we can deliberately do:

Feed on the Word of God.

Partake of the Supper of the Lord.

Ask for Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to take control of all areas in our life, by indwelling our heart fully.

I do believe that we are saved through God's Grace, and is a free gift, but as someone pointed out, "we are saved for good works, not by them".

So I admire the work Methodists are doing to deliberately manage good works, and I am very happy to know that after Vatican II, social teaching has been developed further.

Just as brother Mark Nolette says, we need to look at different perspectives from different brothers, analyze, and retain what is good.

 

Hope I clarified a bit where I am coming from. 

Blessings.

 

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