Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Divine Revelation: Salvation and Liberation in Catholic Thought

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Divine Revelation: Salvation and Liberation in Catholic Thought

Article excerpt

Divine Revelation: Salvation and Liberation in Catholic Thought. By Dean Brackley. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996. xxvi + 197 pp. $19.00 (paper).

Dean Brackley teaches at the Central American University in San Salvador. This book addresses the question in late twentieth-century Roman Catholic theology of the relation of social justice to transcendent salvation. Brackley argues that one can speak of an integral salvation that encompasses social justice. Moreover, the church has a single integral mission in regard to this salvation as well, with specific roles to play and tasks to achieve.

Brackley sets up the discussion by reviewing Magisterial documentsconciliar, synodal, papal, and episcopal, beginning with Vatican II. He concludes there has been development, but with enough remaining diversity to warrant saying the case is far from closed. He then traces the thought on this question in three prominent thinkers: Jacques Maritain, Karl Rahner, and Gustavo Gutierrez. Maritain he credits with closing the Neo-Scholastic breach between the supernatural and the natural orders on this issue, honoring their distinctiveness yet showing how they might interrelate. Karl Rahner provides a better understanding of how the two orders relate, based on a more adequate theology of grace. However, Rahner's theology remains more individual-centered, and does not account adequately for a social dimension. For this Brackley turns to Gutierrez, who he finds developing a careful balance between divine and human action, and a prophetic eschatology that addresses the question of what may be hoped for within the realm of human history. But Gutierrez does not fully answer a number of lingering issues. …

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