Course Code
RELI 0610
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

This course introduces students to the development of modern Catholic Thought from the period after the First Vatican Council (1870) to the present day. Students will look at the different ways in which Catholic Thought has engaged with the rise of modernity/post-modernity and with the changing religious, political, social and scientific landscape. We will focus on some of the most influential documents produced by the Church’s magisterium in this period and at the contributions of some of the major figures in Catholic theology, such as de Lubac, Rahner, Von Balthasar and Küng. We shall also look at the development of feminist, political and other theologies.

Set texts:

The Documents of the Second Vatican Council: Lumen Gentium

Papal encyclicals: Rerum novarum, Pascendi dominici gregis, Humani generis, Fides et Ratio

Hans Urs von Balthasar, Love alone: The way of revelation

Yves Congar, True and False Reform in the Church

Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation

Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse

Hans Küng, ‘What is an ecumenical council?’ in The Living Church

Henri de Lubac, The Mystery of the Supernatural; Catholicism

Karl Rahner, The Trinity

Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus: An experiment in Christology

Sample topics:

1.    Pius X and the Modernist crisis

2.    Nouvelle Theologie and the Humani generis controversy (de Lubac, Pius XII)

3.    Rethinking Catholic doctrine: God as Trinity in modern Catholic thought (Rahner)

4.    Rethinking Catholic doctrine: The Divinity and Humanity of Christ in modern Catholic thought (Schillebeeckx)

5.    Rethinking Catholic doctrine: The Church in modern Catholic thought (Second Vatican Council, Congar, Küng)

6.    Faith, reason and the rise of modern science (John Paul II)

7.    The place of feminism and post-modernism in modern Catholic thought (Johnson)

8.    Catholic Social teaching from Rerum novarum to liberation theology (Leo XIII, Gutiérrez)