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Catholic Theology Essay Highlights

By KelBel549 Mar 25, 2005 2463 Words
*Sense experiences/depth experiences: not limited by the empirical data-the really "real" is not necessarily able to be seen.

*Religious Experience (depth experience): Not just a sense experience, an experience that causes people to change, always touches on the "other" (the transcendent)-that which goes beyond our understanding (anything that we can come up with) (ie..who can really explain the sunset?).

*Orthopraxis (Right-practice): The process of doing the right things.

*Orthodoxy: Believing the right thing.

*Sacramental Approach: Sacraments use the world around us as a way/event in which we encounter God: The way we do that is being involved with life/experiences in this world-that we are able to reach God in the afterlife (ex: eating is a way of being joined w/ God).

*The things of this world matter-it becomes the way we reach God on the road to reaching eternal happiness (meeting God).

*Foundation Theology/Fundamental Theology: Explains what theology is all about.

*Theology: "Faith seeking understanding" – we need faith 1st before understanding can be reached.

*Determining the "cannon" (cannon of scripture): list of writings that adequately express the faith of the community.

*Apacal Writings: didn't make it onto the list (cannon) because they didn't adequately express what the community expressed as far as their understanding of faith.

C.Rahner: Sees theology as the science/study of faith (it has excepted way of doing things).
*Theology has a special subject matter: the act & content of faith
*Act: what it means to be a believer/a person of faith
*Also sees faith as the goal of theology
*We have to have faith 1st (it's a gift given to us by God)

*Theology doesn't assume faith, it produces it. Theology is a practical science, it impels us to put what we know into action-practice what you preach.

*Christian faith is a community based function, not an individual function.

*Revelation: The historical passing over/on of beliefs (the interpretation of faith).

*Catholic Theology: Lives build on faith in God who has been mediated to human beings through Jesus Christ.

*Formative Factors in Theology (Macquarrie): where we get our theology from
1. Experience
2. Revelation: God making himself known through scripture, continuance through tradition-tries to recognize the ongoing belief in God
A. Scripture
B. Tradition
3. Culture: the culture in which a theologian works
4. Reason: Heresy-"taking for oneself", occurs when 1 factor is overemphasized

*Too much stress on experience leads to individualism.

*If all 4 aren't balanced: we end up w/ heresy.

*Heretic: Someone who doesn't accept a certain part of a faith.

*(Lane-viii) Question is not whether God exists; it is the question of how "God" fits in the roles of our lives.

*We can't theologize w/out experience.

*Our best experiences are those that occur outside of the ordinary experience: Sense data-self involved.
*If determined by language it is limited.

*We need to have a person encounter somebody/something else (interplay) so that experience happens.

*Union w/ God is not random, God choose you to experience.

*Theological Anthropology: Premises is on free will.

*Community: "The horizon of understanding", without the base of community we don't know what context to put our experiences in
*Inherited wisdom

*We can't meet God directly in the life.

*Private Revelations: Experiences of God that are only felt/experienced by one indiv.

*Indiv. Experiences have to be tried/tested against the corporate/community in order to be true.

*Revelation has "closed", new things will not be learned about God, but we are learning new ways about how the church is involved/ how we witness the world (the result of our ongoing appreciation of God).

*God is co-present in our lives. As we are experiencing things, God is there experiencing w/ us (co-pilot). That's why we have experiences, because God is leading us.

*God is not just available to a privileged few, he is available to all. He sustains all human experiences, the very foundation of existence.

*In considering the role of doctrine, we need these specified beliefs/specific assertions of God: describes the community.

*We can't experience God unless we have the knowledge of God. God that which is beyond us, the ideas/beliefs held by the community.

*Faith does not contradict our reason; it just takes us beyond what we can reason

*God of the Gaps: A God who we call on only when we have no other option (The belief that God has nothing to do with our lives until we are in trouble and we pray) (i.e. an atheist that prays).

*"What is yours and only yours is not divine" (Josiah Royce).

*In order to have a Christian experience:

1. Needs to receive God as Father, Son & Spirit
2. Decisions flow from that experience
3. Has to be conversation (changed behavior) (Pascal & practice)
4. Has to be practical, has to be outwardly directed
5. Has to be continuity (in line with) experience of the community 6. Has to harmonize w/ eschatological (understanding of the how the world must be in the end-ultimately in the end) understanding of reality

*Christian: One who lives 4 others through Christ.

*Dependence on the church liberates us from the limits of individualism.

*Symbol: Makes an unseen reality a reality. Gives us access to realities that were/are not previously available before the symbol (i.e. wedding ring).

*Baptism: The drowning of the old self & the rebirth of the new, waters @ mass: the idea that God is our food.

*Theology: Provides a view of all reality, attempts to describe everything that comes from God.

*Characteristics of Catholic Theology:

*Prizes human reason
*Grounded in conviction that God can be known and is known most fully in Jesus Christ who offers life to all people *Affirms that God's life-giving presence continues in our history through the Holy Spirit who sustains the Church and moves the human heart to be open to God, especially to God revealed in the Bible

*Recognized that faith in Jesus Christ is lived w/in the community of the Church *Articulates that faith in the God of Jesus Christ cannot be separated from engagement in the world

*We are dependent on those that have spoken/talked about God before us.

*Church: Has the task of transmitting the experience of God. Christ comes through the Holy Spirit which communicates through the Church.

*If a belief comes against the scripture, than it can not be considered valid.

*Teaching Authority: A clear expression of what the church believes, it is at its best when it is expressing the beliefs of the community. –Reminder that church was grounded in history and can't be remade. We are dependent on those before us.

*Immaculate Conception: Means that Mary was conceived w/out the character of original sin of sex.

*Anthropology: An understating of human existence.

*3 Approaches to Human Nature:

A. Religious: there is something beyond what we know ("the other") B. Philosophical: States that we don't need a God, we are a part of the world only, people can think/use reason, God factor is taken out, looks at humans as a composite of mind/spirit (diff. in quality btw humans and the rest of the world) C. Scientific Approach: Humans have high levels of functioning, but they just happen to be @ the highest level, just a quantitative diff btw humans and the rest of the world

*Multidimensional Approach: This approach goes beyond human nature, Nature vs. individual existence. Human existence doesn't take place unless humans have self reflection, you understand who you are.

*Person is a rational creature, only human beings can think-that separates differences btw rational beings.

*Humans aren't called "Humanity", they have individual existence, and we call them by their names.

*God is seen as personal, as persons, as opposed to a force that controls the Earth.

*Religion: Relationship people & their relationship w/ "The Other".

*Modern Approach: Puts a stress on the mind, the ability to reason, it's a stretch because it doesn't look at the origin of where people came from.-fails to acknowledge that relationships are needed.

*Humans are not humans unless there are relationships with other people.

*Sign: Has a single meaning in the object being used, can vary from other signs (i.e. stop sign).

*Symbol: Carry with them an experience outside of themselves (i.e. wedding ring), carries w/ it a deeper reality, always have intentionality (the infusion of meaning w/in them)

*Religious Impulse: "Openness to the transcendent": being open to the idea of God "the other".

*Grace: The presence of God in us, helps us to do things we can't do on our own.

*Universal Revelation: God somehow reveals himself to every person (omnipresent).

*Fundamentalism: An approach to scripture stating that things happened exactly the way it says in the Bible.

*Rationalism: We can figure everything out using logic.

vs. * Ficleism: Whatever we say about faith has no connection to what people believe.

*Revelation: God approaching us.

*Orthodoxy: Believing the right things about God.
*Orthoporesis: doing the right things-acting correctly
*Orthopraxis: relates to the working out to humans in the community, takes us beyond having a personally good life, focus on the consequences of believing the right things.

*Grace : The presence of God

*Supernatural Existential: A part of our lives, necessary components of our lives (i.e. the need for food and sleep)

*Exterior Grace: Apart from the human being, second grace comes after the openness to the transcendent (The Other)

*Orthopraxis (cult): Worship, the way we respond to the world around us becomes explicit in our worship.

*Cult: Takes the spirit out to the community to those who could not join that worship.

*Universal Prolific Will: God wanting everybody to be saved.

*Deism: Says there is a God that created everything in the beginning, but He is no longer involved, he got things going in the beginning.

*Pantheism: God is present in all creations (i.e. in trees, animals, people etc).

*Secularist: Relies on your senses, you only believe what you can see/prove.

*Distinction between a philosophy of religion and Theology.

*Insights of Karl Rahner:
*Act and Content of faith as special subject matter of Theology.
*Theology does not produce faith, nor does it transform it into a higher knowledge (gnosis).
*Theology is a practical science: oriented toward acts of hope and love; joining of orthodoxy & orthopraxy.
*Theology is an ecclesiastical science of faith, relating to the faith of a community. *As a science of the Church in the world, theology is not restricted to private salvation, and has a political aspect that must consider social relevance of its assertions.

*Theology is a historical science, with grounding in historical events of salvation, and orientation toward end of history (eschatology).

*Inadequate understandings of experience: subjective emotionalism, passive reception of sense data, limitation to language expressions.

*Experience as product of interaction between subject and object.

*Role of community in experience: horizon of understanding, standard for judging individual experiences.

*Primary/outer/ordinary/sense experiences vs. secondary/inner/extraordinary/depth experiences.

*Religious (dimension of human) experience: Mediated, rather than direct, contact with the sacred.

*God as co-experienced and co-known through various experiences and knowledge of the subject.

*God as omnipresent and available to all.

*Doctrine and beliefs as horizon of understanding (from community) for individual religious experiences.

*Theology's concern with "all things", rather than simply providing info about God.

*Role of symbols in Theology.

*Church as preserver of the witness to Jesus; Bible as the Church's book; tradition as the Spirit alive in the Church.

*Importance of teaching authority of the Church for providing a clear expression of the faith:
*Reminder of dependence on those who preserved the meaning of God's revelation in Jesus Christ and passed it on to us
*Recognition that expression and interpretation of the faith changes over time.

*Human nature as multidimensional (PRIME):
*Implications for Theology

*Meaning of person: ancient approaches and modern usage; implication for theology

*Revelation of the Peron in symbols: role of intentionality; openness to the transcendent

*Principles for a theology of revelation:
*Divine revelation follows dynamics of human revelation.
*Fundamental unity exists btw diving revelation and faith.
*Revelation of God changes our consciousness.
*There is no unmediated revelation of God: Revelation is always incarnational and sacramental-we don't meet God directly, we encounter Him through experiences

*Universal/Natural Revelation: Experience of contingency (appreciation of the fact that we are dependent on others), drive toward transcendence, moral impulse (conscience) – experience of creation of God's primary word, acknowledgement of the universe as friendly.

*Jewish Revelation: Strong monotheism, particular view of history, covenant-creational relationship with God, hope of promises about the further – The greater the faith response to the presence of God revealing self, the deeper the revelation of God to the individual.

*Christian Revelation: Christ-event as fullness of God's self-communication, fulfillment of Jewish revelation, illumination of understanding of universal revelation, Jesus as personal communication of God, Jesus' resurrection as the eschatological event. (The last event-What happens at the end is that there isn't an end).

*Universal character of faith: Primordial Faith (Fundamental human quality that belongs to all people) as attitude of confidence in the value and worthwhile ness of human existence.

*Religious faith focuses on transcendent reality, extending and transforming primordial faith.

*Faith as setting one's heart on another, rather than acceptance of a set of propositions.

*Distinction btw personal act of faith (belief in) and content of faith (belief about).

*Early Christian faith as a personal and practical way of living, centered on Jesus Christ, that has theoretical implications (beliefs).

*Faith as acknowledgement and affirmation of a relationship with God that changes the individual and brings about a conversion.

*Beliefs as the human expression of our understanding of the mystery of God: a partial expression of the fullness of divine truth to which faith is committed.

*Christian faith as personal relationship with God as Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit.
*Informed by Jesus as the definitive revelation of God in the world.
*Christ accepted as the center of the universe and the hope of humanity.
*Christ as both the way to realization of full humanity and the disclosure of the true face of God.

*Act of faith embraces:
*Orthodoxy (Creed)
*Orthopoiesis (Code)
*Orthopraxis (Cult)

*Difference between religious faith and primordial faith in the nature of the act of religious faith:
*Object of religious faith is transcendent and transcendental.
*Interior grace: first grace, supernatural existential, unrestricted desire to know and love (love doesn't know boundaries)
*Exterior grace: second grace (based on message for community), God's revelation in Christ.

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