“Analecta Gregoriana” 239
1985, pp. X - 400
The question, “What is a dogma?” can be asked in many contexts. Karl Rahner remarked in 1962 that the question was rarely posed explicitly “in the usual Catholic textbook theology”. Some of the membra disiecta of the Catholic doctrine of dogma are doubtless to be gathered, he notes, from the treaties on the loci theologici and the magisterium of the Church, and he himself considers dogma in the context of 1) a general theory of what it is to make a statement, 2) the theology of faith, 3) ecclesiology, 4) his own theology of mystery, and 5) the theology of revelation and Scripture. Since 1962, Walter Kasper has offered a history of the idea of dogma and a consideration of dogma in its relation to the Gospel. The question about dogma continues to be asked within the question of the development, historicity and progress of dogma as witness the works of J.H. Walgrave and J.P. Joussua. Thomas B. Ommen discusses dogma in the context of modern theories of hermeneutics. Contemporary concerns with the nature and limits of theological pluralism make one turn to dogma as to a possible source or guarantor or expression of unity. A very Dulles asks whether dogma poses as great an obstacle to ecumenical discussion and reconciliation as is sometimes supposed. Attention to cultural and not only theological pluralism also redounds to the question of what dogma is or can be?