The Discourse of Catholicity
April 12-13
Session Descriptions

Catholicity and the Mission of the Holy Spirit in the Light of the Global Expansion of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Renewal
The publication in 2006 of the fruits of an International Roman Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue created great promise for ecumenical understanding and Catholic renewal. At the same time, the challenge remains to look at catholicity and the mission of the Holy Spirit in the light of the global expansion of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic renewal. Ralph Del Colle is an expert on the theology of the Holy Spirit and a member of the Catholic-Pentecostal International Dialogue. Br. Jeffrey Gros, F.S.C., is a leading scholar on the ecumenical question in Latin America. Both will address the current challenges in a global perspective.

Charles Taylor and the Hermeneutics of Intercultural Dialogue
Even before the appearance of The Secular Age (2007), Charles Taylor had already developed an ethics of intercultural dialogue. In fact, he had highlighted the potential of a philosophical theory of interpretation for intercultural dialogue. Taylor also dealt with the view that to understand the world through a philosophical theory of interpretation did not entail turning a blind eye to justice or social fragmentation. His work also deals with the need in our age to embrace multiple theories of modernity and modernization. In this panel, experts on Taylor’s intercultural thought from Mexico, the United States, and Canada will discuss his contribution to a theory and theology of intercultural dialogue. The presentation by Prof. Lazo Briones will be delivered in Spanish, but an English translation will be provided to all the participants.

Unity and Diversity in the Heritage of Catholic Social Teaching: A Celebration of the 120th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum
This year marks a milestone in the history of Catholic social thought. To celebrate that event and to think about the relationship between social concerns and theological issues that are simultaneously global and local, this session will explore two timely approaches to the history of Catholic social thought. Thomas O’Brien will examine Quadragesimo anno (1931) in the light of our own present-day context that features divisive partisanship and market collapse. He argues that the papal document from World War II offers contemporary readers a different lens through which to view our own delicate and turbulent times. Zachary Calo, a historian who works on the interface between law and theology, will present his own contextual, historical, and theological research on the thought of John K. Ryan, a critical figure in the development of Catholic social thought in the 20th century United States.

New Paradigms for Global Ecclesiology
At the beginning of the 20th century, only 25 percent of the world’s Catholic population lived outside Europe and North America. By the end of the 20th century, 65.5% of the Catholic population was found in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. A leading expert onthe Asian American Catholic experience and a groundbreaking scholar of women’s movements in Africa will lead this discussion of some of the new developments in ecclesiology that arise from the deeper consideration of what Karl Rahner called “a world Church."

Civil Religions, National Myths, and the Catholicity of the Church: Toward a Comparative Exploration
This session explores the complex and sometimes controversial interaction of Catholicism and political nationalism. It seeks to provide a comparative context for thinking about national myth-making, political/cultural identity formation, and ecclesial thought and practice. Contributors will offer reflections on contemporary case studies, including German Catholicism in the Nazi era and 20th century East European religious nationalism.

The Unity and Diversity of the Church in the New Testament
Two internationally recognized experts on the New Testament consider the question of how the earliest Christian community dealt with particularity, fragmentation, conflict, and diversity while indwelling the one body of Christ. Dean Margaret Mitchell, an expert on Paul and the origins of early Christian hermeneutics, will concentrate on the theme of unity and diversity of the Church in 1 Corinthians. Dean Barbara Reid, O.P., will draw upon her expertise in interpreting the New Testament through Latina and feminist eyes to shed light on the question.

Catholicity in the Fathers of the Church
"Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old" (Mark 13:52). Our dialogue about the “Discourse of Catholicity” treats new catholicity in the light of an ample tradition of Christian thought and the traditional “mark” of the Church in the light of recent global developments. This panel brings into dialogue a scholar of Eusebius of Caesarea and the political theology of the early Church; the author of a recent general history of the relationship between politics and Christianity who has scrutinized with particular care the diverse recent attempts at retrieving the political doctrine of Augustine’s City of God; and an ecumenical expert on the idea of the unity of the Church in Cyprian of Carthage who has also reflected extensively on postcolonial theology and the mission of the Church today.

The Mutual Exchange of Gifts: Clergy Formation & the Challenge of Intercultural Dialogue
The session will address the ongoing formational needs of Roman Catholic priests in today’s multicultural and global society. The church in the United States is rapidly seeing a demographic change in the ethnic, racial, and national composition of the presbyterate. Given these changes, there are opportunities for greater collaboration, intercultural sharing, and mutual learning and support among national groups. The interfacing of cultures is a new venue for ongoing priestly formation, education, and transformation. (Lunch provided.) 

Book Presentation: A World for All? Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology
This volume's three editors and one of the contributors will offer their remarks on the forthcoming publication. Regarding this publication, Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S., who will also participate in this session, writes:

"This volume advances significantly an important discussion of the meaning of global civil society and how Christian theology might engage it. Its interdisciplinary character assures that it will reach sectors in political science, philosophy, and theology. The range of voices represented here reflect the complexity and the urgency of the question of how we are to continue on a worldwide exchange of action and policy that will allow the world to live together in a genuinely humane fashion. No discussion of political theology, social theory, and cosmopolitanism can be continued without reference to this book."