Catholic ecclesiology stands at the threshold of a new moment in the reception of the Second Vatican Council. The election of Pope Francis—coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the council—has inspired a fresh consideration of its teaching in such diverse areas as ecumenism, inculturation, missiology, and ministry. The chapters in this volume have their origin in a special symposium that called together over forty of the leading Catholic scholars from throughout North America in order to discuss the future of theological reflection on the church. The nine essays in this volume guided that conversation and offer an entry into some of the most pressing issues in ecclesiology today.
What an excellent set of writings! By turns insightful, inspirational, and critical, but always interesting, the book's method of looking back and looking ahead offers deep understanding of the present church in its messy, graced reality. So much is in bud. Read it and experience the maturing of the theological voice in North America.
Elizabeth A. Johnson, Distinguished Professor, Fordham University Nine first-rate theologians here offer their analysis and insights concerning key areas in Catholic ecclesiology, including authority, ministry, culture, gender, ethnicity, mission, liturgy, and ecumenism. The reader gains access to the most current state of theological discussion as the authors not only frankly acknowledge the seriousness of present challenges but also give solid advice concerning the future of the church.
Dennis M. Doyle, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton This book cracks open the doors of the church for a wide audience-students, parishioners, and seekers alike-with essays by the most respected US theologians, younger scholars and seasoned veterans, that explore the most challenging and most promising topics in the theology of the church today.
Bradford E. Hinze, Fordham University If Pope John XXIII wanted to open a window into the church, Pope Francis wants to open its doors. This challenging book, the fruit of an extraordinary gathering of ecclesiologists brought together by Boston College, explores what the church of Pope Francis might mean for questions of evangelization, authority, ministry, gender, and ecumenism. Sensitive to cultural changes and demographic shifts, its starting point must always be mission with a special concern for those on the periphery.
Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology, Loyola Marymount University An engaging collection that demonstrates the vibrancy, range, and continued promise of US ecclesiology today. As well as being a most valuable addition to any syllabus engaging the church of our times, it serves as a fitting tribute to Thomas O'Meara, OP, a true theological great whose own creative theological work and wider ecclesial service alike have embodied a vision of A Church with Open Doors across many fruitful years.
Gerard Mannion, Amaturo Chair in Catholic Studies, Georgetown University "A good introduction to the contemporary Catholic questions about the nature of the church and its place in the world for any educated reader. It is approachable without oversimplifying, and broad without feeling disconnected."Jakob Karl Rinderknecht, Catholic Books Review "The debates in theology and the wider ecclesial community during the last few decades underscore that ecclesiology is unlikely to return to its earlier `dogmatic slumbers.' For that reason, the Church as a whole needs rich resources as communities grapple with complex questions. This book is such a resource. Indeed, this book could be a model for ecclesiologists in other countries wishing to undertake a similar study of their local Churches."Richard Lennan, The Way "As might be expected with such a collection of accomplished, thorough scholars, each of these essays stands alone as an important contribution to future ecclesiological discourse. The book as a whole would make an excellent source for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate course in ecclesiology, as well as for the educated lay reader. It meets and exceeds one standard for evaluation of a collected volume, therefore-there are no weak essays, no `duds,' but nine examples of creative, substantive scholarship."Brian P. Flanagan, Marymount University, Horizons