Summer 2008

Introduction: Hope

In a slightly different direction, Roch Kereszty’s “Toward the Renewal of Theology and the Theologian” considers the state of theology itself and what the Church and the world can hope from it and from those to whom its care is entrusted. Starting from an analysis of what biblical studies, if they are to flourish, must cultivate and what they must dispense with from twentieth-century postconcilar theology, Kereszty then turns to the person of the theologian and his task of allowing his own subjectivity to be “snatched away from itself” and then, having been fitted into the subject of Christ, to “receive itself anew.”

Jean-Pierre Batut, writing in “Divine Goodness! Notes on the Goodness of the Father According to Origen,” reflects the earlier theme of the ever-greaterness of divine love in a discussion of Origen’s insistence on the filial character of the “likeness” to God that men, already made in the divine “image,” are to attempt to reach in Christian life. The dimension of charity borne by the filial relation to God the Father picks up where philosophical attempts to reach knowledge of God leave off, a limit which, as Batut notes, Origen identifies for perhaps the first time in the history of Christianity. The “final conflagration of the universe” will be a conflagration of charity, then, when the laws of creation and of the universe are revealed to be love and the glory of the goodness of God.

Finally, “Retrieving the Tradition” reprints Communio’s 1985 article, “On Hope,” by Joseph Ratzinger. This text, delivered upon the jubilee of the Roman Antonianum, draws in part on St. Bonaventure to relate the virtue of hope to poverty and the life of St. Francis. Ratzinger explains St. Paul’s use of “hyparxis” and “hypomene” in Hebrews to characterize the Christian hope that does not pass away as do worldly goods and hopes, and the article ends with a meditation from the future pope on the Tridentine Catechism’s linking of hope and the Our Father: “We know that there is someone who has the goodness and the power to give us anything, and it is to him that we stretch out our hands.”