Church and Social Action: A Critical Assessment and Bibliographical Survey

Church and Social Action: A Critical Assessment and Bibliographical Survey

Church and Social Action: A Critical Assessment and Bibliographical Survey

Church and Social Action: A Critical Assessment and Bibliographical Survey

Synopsis

"The authors of the volume set themselves an almost impossible task. They have put together, with very well done short annotations, an impressive array of bibliographical information on the contibution of religion to social change." Choice

Excerpt

One of the great strengths of Christian theology throughout history has been its ongoing - but often uneasy and unwilling - dialogue with major intellectual movements. Perhaps the most obvious example has been the impact of Greek philosophical thought on the Western church, which reached its apex in medieval scholasticism. Numerous other intellectual movements have engaged the church's attention with varying consequences, and in the present century none is likely to have greater or more lasting influence than the social sciences.

Because we live in an era that is unrelenting in its secularism and largely oblivious to the theological sciences, we rely increasingly on the social sciences to inform our understanding of society, social institutions and social movements. Contrary to the opinion of reactionary believers in many religious traditions, this reliance has not been forced on us by social scientists; rather we have realized through experience that the social sciences are essential interpretive aids which are entirely compatible with religious values. Many eminent theologians, among them Karl Rahner and Gregory Baum, regard the social sciences as necessary and significant partners in helping theology to understand and deal with the present. These sciences have become important participants in a dialogue that interprets contemporary society for religious communities of all persuasions. It is this dialogue that Dulles has termed the "secular dialogic" in which new insights are achieved through an interplay of ideas between ". . . traditional Christian faith and the aspirations and insights of contemporary secular man."

Members of some religious movements and institutions express uneasiness, if not downright hostility, in the face of such dialogue; they prefer to think of it more as a monologue in which the social sciences are yet another threat to the eternal verities. the social sciences do indeed contribute to change in religion, but it is also a . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.