Volume 3, Issue 2, June 1990
Towards Agreement on Marriage
This statement from the Roman Catholic Church – Uniting Church Working Group was completed in late 1989. It is a “work in progress” paper with no official standing. We hope that it will elicit comments which help the Working Group in its continuing task. Comments should be sent to Fr. Peter Kenny, Catholic Theological College, P.O. Box 209, Clayton 3168, preferably by 31 October 1990.
Certainty and Interpretation
Interpretation, whether of Bible or Church authority, turns out to involve a series of tensions between particular and general considerations, which may seem to make certainty impossible. I suggest we get a true assurance from a loving commitment of faith, but only if we see it as a pathway to deeper understanding rather than as a fortress to be defended. However, a dialgue between pathway and fortress is needed in the search for truth.
Sexism Ancient and Modern: Turning a Male World Upside Down
Sexism is about perception and identity. The starting point for this discussion is a brief consideration of how Biblical and later texts have perceived and portrayed women. If women have been shown, even unconsciously, in the guise others have desired, how is this to be prevented today? The authors argue that language and symbolism are always influential. The language we use to refer to God influences not only how we think of God, but also how we see ourselves. If we are wrestling today to find language and symbols that speak to us, we are indeed following a biblical tradition that did just that. Breaking free is not simply a matter of language, but a transference of power, to be shared by women and men together. Such a transference means shaking present models of perception in the search for an inclusive and just alternative.
Betty is a Prime Number: Matching Metaphors of Priesthood and Womanhood
Religious congregations across the world are having to come to terms with the issue of the ordination of women to leadership positions – whether of priest, minister, elder or rabbi. The Anglican Church in Australia has had a long and difficult debate over whether to ordain women to the priesthood. Gender roles are socially constructed in the Church, as everywhere else. This article challenges us to see the resistance to the concept of “woman as priest” as sociological, not theological.
Patristic Christology: Through the Looking Glass of the Heretics
Contemporary Christological developments often overlook traditional theological statements made in earlier centuries, or else undermine their importance, in an endeavour to create a non-hellenistic ontology. This article presents the traditional arguments of the Church Fathers in the period preceding the great Council of Chalcedon (451), examining them in the context of Church and salvation, while also recalling the illuminating insights of certain writers subsequently branded as heretics.
Wholeness: Ecological and Catholic?
This article ponders the possible relationships between the Catholic tradition and ecological thinking. The author suggests that the Catholic “analogical imagination” can be inspired to new proportions as it begins to absorb an ecological vision. Likewise, ecological awareness can find a wholesome religious grounding in the Catholic sense of creation, incarnation, sacrament, and natural law.
The Reasons for Romans
Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity
The Genesis of Christology: Foundations for a Theology of the New Testament
Encountering World Religions
Australia: "The Most Godless Place Under Heaven"?
Christ and Prometheus?: A Quest for Theological Identity
Galilee, Jesus and the Gospels: Literary Approaches and Historical Investigations
Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus
Richard L. Franklin, M.A., LL.M., Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England in Armidale, N.S.W. He practised as a barrister in Melbourne before teaching philosophy in Perth and Armidale. His publications are in law, pure philosophy, and philosophy of religion. He is an active member of his local Angican church, and is particularly concerned to relate meditation, and other aspects of spirituality, to traditional Christian belief.
Rev. Judith McKinlay, and Rev. Sarah Mitchell are both Presbyterian women currently engaged in doctoral research at the Theological Hall, Knox College, Dunedin, New Zealand. Sr. Helen Bergin, O.P., is a Dominican nun and lectures in systematic theology at Holy Cross College, Mosgiel, New Zealand.
Barabara Field teaches in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of New England. Her current doctoral research centres on lay reactions to the ordained ministry of women in the Anglican Church in Australia. She has just publishe Fit For This Office: Women and Ordination (Melbourne: Collins Dove, 1989).ˇ
John Chryssavgis, D. Phil. (Oxon.) is Protodeacon of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. He is Sub-Dean and Lecturer in Patristics and Orthodox Spirituality at St. Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney, as well as Part-time lecturer at the University of Sudney. He has published on Orthodox theology and spirituality.
Tony Kelly, C.SsR., S.T.L., Dr. Theol., lectures in systematic theology at Yarra Theological Union, where he served as president from 1980-85. His recent publications include Trinity of Love: A Theology of the Christian God (Glazier, 1989) and A New Imaginng: Towartd an Australian Spirituality (Collins Dove, 1990). He has just finished a book on eschatology.