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Document Details :

Title: Views of Doctrine
Subtitle: Historical Consciousness, Asymptotic Notional Clarity, and the Challenge of Hermeneutics as Ontology
Author(s): CIMORELLI, Christopher , MINCH, Daniel
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 37    Issue: 4   Date: 2013   
Pages: 327-363
DOI: 10.2143/LS.37.4.3047124

Abstract :
Catholic notions of tradition development and the development of doctrine are inevitably tied up with the more basic questions of truth and metaphysics. Important changes in the Catholic understanding of history have, since Vatican I, driven theology to adapt different, sometimes reactionary, ways of addressing the issue of ‘development’. Here, we take a double-sided approach to the question of doctrinal development. First, we address the history and context that led to the rise of the propositional and historical models of revelation, and their subsequent merger. While Vatican II represented a partial solution to the ‘problem of history’, certain post-conciliar developments are also critically examined to illustrate how official ecclesial speech continues to work with older interpretive models. Second, an understanding of the metaphysical principles involved is critically important; specifically, this is done through the lens of language and hermeneutics. Critical attention to the metaphysical presuppositions of past models of doctrinal development reveals serious problems for relating adequately to the truth content of doctrine in light of critical-hermeneutical reflection. We propose, in this section, to reevaluate ‘hermeneutics’ as an ontological position, rather than a purely methodological one. In line with this ontological position, we propose a ‘relational’ model of revelation, and suggest ways that doctrinal statements consistently function as indicators of revealed truth.

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