Catholic theology

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The term Catholic theology is used both to designate theology as a scientific discipline within the denominational horizon of the Roman Catholic Church ( material object ) and to designate the specific methodology of this same discipline ( formal object ).

Material object of Catholic theology

In terms of content, it is about speaking of the triune God , who has revealed himself as creator , in the creation, shaping and maintenance of the world, as savior and redeemer , above all in the figure of Jesus Christ and as the Holy Spirit , in constant renewal and hoped for the completion of the world. The church and its work in the Holy Spirit, this is a revelation for the design, preaching and healing effects (especially in the sacraments entrusted). This results in the salvation-meaningful relation of everything created to God, who is understood as the origin and goal of all being . Man in particular, although he has fallen into sin from the beginning, is understood as the one chosen and called by God and justified by Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit through the gift of redemption . If he accepts this in faith and baptism and keeps it in life in works of love , then perfection in the Holy Spirit is given to him.

Formal object of Catholic theology

Methodically, Catholic theology understands itself as responsible speech from God , which is committed to the two poles of faith and reason . The reference to faith is openly shown and an attempt is made to redeem it in the triad of commitment to Holy Scripture , church tradition and the church's magisterium . The reference to reason proves itself in the inner rationality of theology as a science of faith and at the same time in its ability to open and at the same time critical dialogue with non-theological disciplines (first of all with philosophy , but also with the other human sciences and the natural sciences ) and last but not least with the respective culture .

Well-known theologians

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul and Evangelist John are considered to be particularly theologically versed, although the other authors of the New Testament can also be considered theologians. Paul's Christocentric teaching initiated the detachment of Christianity from Judaism and the formation of an independent, ultimately global religion. In antiquity the church father Augustine is to be mentioned, like no other he shaped western theology and piety. From the Scholastic Middle Ages to modern times, Thomas Aquinas was considered an important theological thinker and apologist . His theology brought a turn to rational analysis and scientific research.

See also


  • Dominik Burkard, Wolfgang Weiss (ed.): Catholic theology in National Socialism. 2 volumes, Würzburg 2011–2012.
  • Herbert Gutschera u. a .: Church history ecumenically . Matthias Grünewald Verlag , Mainz 1995
  • Walter Kern / Hermann Josef Pottmeyer / Max Seckler (ed.): Handbook of Fundamental Theology. 2nd Edition. 4 Vols. Francke, Tübingen / Basel 2000. (= UTB for Science 8170–8173.)
  • Barbara Henze (ed.): Study of Catholic theology. A themed introduction. Schöningh, Paderborn [a. a.], 1995. (Uni-Taschenbücher; 1894.)
  • Hans-Josef Klauck : The Catholic New Testament Exegesis between Vatican I and Vatican II. In: Manfred Weitlauff , Peter Neuner (Ed.): For you Bishop - with you Christ. FS for Friedrich Cardinal Wetter. St. Ottilien 1998, pp. 85–119 (on the upheavals in Catholic exegesis and their alignment with the Protestant historical-critical interpretation).
  • Gerhard Ludwig Müller : Catholic dogmatics. For study and practice of theology. Herder-Verlag, Freiburg im Breisgau 2005.
  • Ludwig Ott : Outline of Catholic dogmatics. 11th edition with literature supplements, nova & vetera, Bonn, 2005.
  • Johanna Rahner : Introduction to Catholic dogmatics. WBG, Darmstadt 2008.
  • Theodor Schneider (Ed.): Handbook of Dogmatics. 4th edition. 2 volumes, Patmos, Düsseldorf 2009.

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