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Theology and Publishing

Catholic Theological Society of America
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  • Religious Science


C:\Documents and Settings\rowell_el\Desktop\CTSA61\ctsa6106.wpd 104 CTSA Proceedings 61 / 2006 THEOLOGY AND PUBLISHING Topic: Theology, Publishing, and the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian Convener: Paul Crowley, Santa Clara University Moderator: Michael Fahey, Marquette University Presenters: Robert Schreiter, Catholic Theological Union Frank Oveis, Continuum International Publishing Co. Thomas Reese, Santa Clara University The commonly held wisdom that theology has a threefold audience—church, academy, and society—carries with it the implication that theology is written from different locations (not only seminaries but also universities, both Catholic and non- Catholic, religious and secular), and that some theology is intended for audiences wider than the Church itself. The Roman magisterium, however, understands that the theologian has primarily an “ecclesial vocation,” a position that may invite a narrower presumption of the theologian’s audience. Thus, those theologies that exercise a critical hermeneutical methodology by posing questions that publicly probe doctrine may find variable reception among potential publishers. This variable reception may be especially evident when authors themselves have become controversial, and publishers may be wary of publishing their work, or are forbidden to do so. The repercussions for theology itself may be serious, shaping the kinds of questions and methodologies some theologians are willing to pursue. The panel, moderated by Michael Fahey, former editor of Theological Studies, explored this problematic from different perspectives. According to Robert Schreiter, the situation today, as measured by sheer numbers of theologians affected by Roman discipline and the types of discipline imposed, is serious, but not as dire as it was in the period of the Modernist crisis. Nevertheless, certain patterns can be discerned in the current situation. When Roman authority does address theologians, the focus is largely on religious priests and

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