The Challenge of the Catechism

Avery Cardinal Dulles

in Church and Society

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228621
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236619 | DOI:
The Challenge of the Catechism

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This chapter argues that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the boldest challenge yet offered to the cultural relativism that currently threatens to erode the contents of Catholic faith. According to a widely prevalent view, religious truth consists in an ineffable encounter with the transcendent. By confidently setting forth what the Church has taught down through the centuries, the Catechism by implication takes on modern scholars who have criticized the inherited patrimony on the basis of new methodologies in exegesis, historical research, and epistemology. The challenges may be seen as directed against four very popular tendencies: positivist exegesis, historicist dogmatics, revisionist speculation, and experience-based catechetics. The discussion holds that the challenges are mutual, since the Catechism is challenged by those it challenges.

Keywords: Catechism; cultural relativism; exegesis; theological speculation; historicism

Chapter.  6961 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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