Book

Risking the Church

Richard Lennan

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780199271467
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602108 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199271461.001.0001

Series: AAR Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series

Risking the Church

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The present‐day situation of the Roman Catholic Church has been described as a state of ‘peril’. That fact alone, to say nothing of the challenges inseparable from faith in God, implies that the embrace of ecclesial faith is less likely today. Seeks both to account for the emergence of such a situation and to identify sources of possibility for the church. In order to do so, begins by examining both the internal life of the Catholic Church, especially what has occurred in the wake of the Second Vatican Council (1962–65), and the relationship between the church and the wider society, with a particular emphasis on the Western world. As the necessary foundation for expressing how the church might respond to its present situation and what might enable or support the embrace of ecclesial faith, the book focusses on a broad understanding of ‘the church’, one that highlights its multiple implications for human communion and for the communion between God and humanity. In particular, develops a contemporary theology of the foundational elements of Christian faith in regard to the church, especially its relationship to Jesus Christ and its existence as symbol of the Holy Spirit. In the light of that theology, analyses also how controversial elements of ecclesial faith – such as tradition and authority – might be appropriated positively. The final chapters identify possibilities for both a constructive relationship between the church and the surrounding culture and for a more reconciled diversity within the church. The emphasis of the final chapters is on the need to understand the church as ‘unfinished’, as not simply able to develop, but as defined by the dynamism that expresses the presence of God. Concludes that a willingness to embrace the need for movement, for being a pilgrim, is inseparable from the risk of ecclesial faith.

Keywords: Jesus Christ; communion; Holy Spirit; symbol; tradition; Vatican II

Book.  278 pages. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Risking the Church

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A Church in Peril in Risking the Church

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Where the Spirit Flourishes in Risking the Church

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<i>This</i> Church in Risking the Church

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The Existing Season in Risking the Church

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The Overmuch and Unfamiliar in Risking the Church

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Epilogue in Risking the Church

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