Tradition and the Traditions

Gerald O'Collins

in Rethinking Fundamental Theology

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605569
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729454 | DOI:
Tradition and the Traditions

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The inspired Scriptures emerged from tradition and were interpreted and ‘activated’ within tradition. After distinguishing tradition as the action of handing on and as the content of what is handed on, this chapter takes shape around three issues: (1) the human reality of tradition (which secures society's continuity, identity and unity); (2) a modern convergence between Christians over tradition and its relationship to Scripture (which involved, on the ‘Protestant’ side, modifying attempts to find in the Scriptures the only guide to revelation and faith and, on the ‘Catholic’ side, a readiness to abandon talk about some revealed truths being ‘contained’ only in tradition); and (3) the need to discern particular traditions (which may be decadent and in urgent need of reform) and some guidelines for doing so (e.g. by asking ourselves: does this tradition contribute to our being led more clearly by Christ and his Holy Spirit?). The chapter closes by distinguishing and relating revelation, tradition, and Scripture.

Keywords: Christians; revelation; Scripture; tradition; faith

Chapter.  9828 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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