Summer 1995

Criteria of Catholic Theology

Avery Dulles

For theology to be Catholic it must accept both the inclusiveness implied in catholicity and the specificity of visible mediation implied in Catholicism.


I am delighted to have been asked to give this lecture, because the topic is for me, and I suspect for most of us, crucially important. If we want to belong to an organization known as "The Catholic Theological Society of America," we should be clear in our minds about whether there is such a thing as Catholic theology, and, if so, how it is to be understood. How can one tell whether theology is no longer Catholic even though it may claim to be so? My contention will be that Catholic theology ought to exist, and can be identified, because faith can be identifiably Catholic and can give a special character to theological reflection.


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