Friday, March 27, 2009

A Christocentric Trinitarian Anthropology

Tracy Rowland is Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Melbourne, Australia. She is, in my estimation, one of the most gifted theologians writing today. Here is something from her essay "Natural Law: From Neo-Thomism to Nuptial Mysticism," in the Fall 2008 edition of Communio: International Catholic Review:
. . . the Church's scholars should not waste their energies performing all manner of linguistic gymnastics, transposing her teachings into the idioms of hostile traditions, in order to entice neo-pagan elites to buy their intellectual package.

The movement from a neo-Thomist account of natural law to one that explicitly acknowledges its trinitarian context is unlikely to make the notions of natural law any less acceptable to such elites. If they oppose a more Liberal-sounding version of it, then one might as well drop this project and concentrate on making the teaching more comprehennsible and attractive to the Catholic faithful and plain persons of good will, especially Protestants.
In a footnote, she adds a comment which I can affirm from my own experience: "There is much potential for successful diplomatic work with members of the Protestant communnities who have been encouraged by the christocentric accent of the moral theology of the current and previous pontificates."

She then concludes with a comment which is apropos of the work of the Cornerstone Forum:
Further work also needs to be done in recovering lost ground with those who are nominally Catholic and have never been presented with a comprehensive account of morality as filian participation in the life and love of the Trinity.

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