The issues of Authority and Governance in the Roman Catholic Church permeate each and every aspect of the Church's identity, teaching, influence, organisation, moral values and pastoral provision. They have left their mark, in turn, upon its diverse theological and philosophical traditions. The trends of postmodernity, advances in communication, the advent of new ecclesial movements and theologies, and a perceived policy towards increasing institutional centralisation on the part of the Curial authorities of the Church in Rome, have all facilitated a continuous and lively stream of dialogue and disagreement on authority and governance in relation to the place of the Church in our age and the new Millennium. This comprehensive Reader uniquely gathers together in one volume key writings and documents from the wealth of published literature that has emerged on the issues of authority and governance in the Roman Catholic Church. With guided introductions to each section and to each reading, and end of chapter further reading lists, this Reader offers a balanced range of perspectives, themes, international writings, ecumenical dimensions, and formal church documents and Papal pronouncements on core areas of contemporary study and debate. Focusing on the modern/post-modern period in the Roman Catholic Church, but grounded in the historical contexts, Readings in Church Authority presents an accessible source book and introduction for all those exploring current debates and studying central themes in church authority.
'This collection will clearly be a most helpful resource… the sheer range and competence of this volume is impressive.' Philip Endean SJ 'This is an admirable collection…' Theological Book Review 'For all those working within the Roman Catholic Church, as well as ecumenists, it is extremely helpful to have so many texts - many of them challenging the official declarations - in one volume. No theological library should be witout this book.' Modern Believing 'This is a very useful contribution to what remains on ongoing and critical aspect of both theological and canonical study and reflection in the Church… the readings to a greater or lesser extent will certainly stimulate further considerations on the issue of authority in the Church.' The Jurist
Contents: Introduction: Gifts and challenges for the Roman Catholic Church today, Gerard Mannion; Ecclesiology - envisaging the Church, Gerard Mannion; The Magisterium - the Church and its teaching, Kenneth Wilson; Synodality and collegiality - the dynamics of authority, Jan Kerkhofs; The Papacy - supreme authority?, Richard R. Gaillardetz; The sensus fidelium and reception of teaching, Jan Kerkhofs; The role of the theologian - saints and scholars, Gerard Mannion; Doctrine and development - the dynamics of tradition and truth, Kenneth Wilson; Reform and renewal in the Church, Richard. R. Gaillardetz; Biographies; Index.