Author: Lakeland, Paul
Genre: Theology - Ecclesiology
Tags: Catholicism

Rick Shrader‘s Review:

This book was subtitled “The Discourse of the Church.”  I was hoping that it was a critique of the New Testament Church.  It turned out to be an attempt by Lakeland to apply Critical (social) Theory developed by Jurgen Habermas to open discourse within the Catholic Church.  Lakeland,  a Professor of Religious Studies, comes off as a social scientist with a bent toward political theology.  The intent of the book is to present a logical approach for the magisterium of the Catholic Church after Vatican II to be more receptive to theological viewpoints expressed by the laity of the church, and theologians in particular.  He argues that “the magisterium’s task is ‘authoritatively to defend the Catholic integrity and unity of faith and morals’ while the theologians have two roles, to examine revelation and tradition anew so that theology can ‘lend its aid to…the magisterium.'”  Lakeland further argues that “the equality of all the baptized before God is proclaimed in the scriptures and affirmed in the church” thus they should have a respected voice within the church concerning theological matters.  To express in religious terms Lakeland’s chance of realizing his goal, “He hasn’t a prayer!”

reviewed by Don Shrader

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