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Document Details :
Title: Vatican II's Noncompetitive Theology of the Church
Author(s): GAILLARDETZ, Richard R.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 37 Issue: 1 Date: 2013
Many contributions to the study of Vatican II offer more focused, analytic treatments of a specific theme, text or passage. These contributions must be complemented by broader, more synthetic studies of the council that seek to construct a more internally coherent, constructive account of the church. Without such a cohesive vision the council’s reforms can too easily be isolated as ad hoc proposals that are subject to superficial implementation and domestication. This essay offers such a synthetic account of the council, employing American Protestant theologian Kathryn Tanner’s competitive/noncompetitive theological schema to Catholic ecclesiology. A careful study of the council documents suggests a wide-ranging shift from a competitive to a noncompetitive theology of the church in four specific areas: 1) the relationship between pope and bishops; 2) the cooperation between the magisterium and the whole Christian faithful in the receiving and handing on of the faith; 3) the relationship between the exercise of baptismal charisms and church office; 4) the relationship between church and world as two overlapping spheres of Christian activity.