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Jérôme Hamer e-mail(Inicie sesión)

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Jérôme Hamer e-mail(Inicie sesión)


The author wishes to examine the nature and the method of Theology and he poses two questions:

1. Should Theology today be contemplative?
2. What benefits can the human sciences render to Theology?

It appears, in fact, that the answer to these two questions can be found in the Encyclical of Leo XIII.

Concerning the first question, you have to take into account that St. Anselm has already placed theological investigation inter fidem et speciem. More precisely, the rational investigation of Theology in not only placed inter fidem et speciem, but also that it is the same movement towards beatific vision. This is something proper to the selfsame nature of Theology, which is a science of revelation, that is a contemplative look the revealed mysteries. Hence appears also the insubstitutible mission of the Magisterium, which deals with the communication of revealed facts to the beheving community.

In fact, however, there are some theological groups which deny this property to Theology. They are undercurrents of the anthropological school which make man a pseudo-absolute (the rationalism of Spinoza, modernist inmanentism, bultmanian existentialism) and they want to condition the whole of this theological task on a basis in the interest of man. It is certain, on the other hand, that the interest of man is indispensable for Theology, but the mystery of man can only be clarified in the light of Revelation and not the other way round. If you do not do it in this way, you fall into a curious anthropomorphism.

Other currents, which are no more than variants of the previous ones, plead in favour of action. Efficacy is the first and the principal interest of Theology and centres on a concrete political and social task. Their mistake consists of forgetting that the praxis requires a previous theory and that all the efficacy of action comes from previous contemplation. If it is right that we should remove the social and political injustices, it is also certain only in God's plan of salvation where these requirements find their exact place and justification.

Referring to the second question, the author is pointing out that the attitude of the theologian faced with positive scientific disciplines (psychology, sociology, etnology, science of religions, etc.) ought to be positive at the same time, that is to say he ought to take into account that human sciences help us to get to know man better, and are a stimulus for the search for a deeper, comprehensive and critical truth, because the human sciences can have some partial or equivocal philosophical presuppositions. The solution consists of an open and dialoguing attitude, so that the theologian can benefit from the contributions of the human sciences, and thus these very sciences can also necessarily and continuously ask for a philosophical and contemplative reflection properly.


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II. Estudios especulativos