Monday, April 26, 2010

Lack of Big Name Theologians: Catholic Style

The other day I posed the question, "Why aren't there theological giants anymore on the cover of Time?" The most likely reason I thought caused this was that an increase in postmodern values in the church and our society shifted the focus from detached systematic theology (and the leaders of that) to cultural movements in the church and the behavior of believers (and the pastors and clergy that drive that).

Here's an article that asks a similar question, a bit more broad than mine, "Where have the dominant theologians gone?" This is from a 2005 issue of National Catholic Reporter so it's focused on Catholic theologians (ironically, the writer of the article is a professor at a Methodist university). The article is here.

Here are a few quotes highlighting his position:
"First, there are exponentially many more professional theologians working and writing today than there were 50 years ago. As a result, it will be more difficult for one or two people to dominate the field."

"The complexity of Catholic theology today means that no one can claim expertise in all areas of theology. People have to specialize in specific areas such as Christology, eschatology, ecclesiology or anthropology."

"Now and in the future we need many different Catholic theologies emerging in different cultures and contexts and diverse areas of specialization. No one person or small group of theologians of one station in life, or one sex, or one color will ever again dominate Catholic theology."

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