CATHOLICISM CONFRONTS MODERNITY: A Protestant View by Langdon Gilkey


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Gilkey, a veteran explorer of the 20th century's challenge to Christianity and of late a perceptive observer of Catholicism's contemporary predicament, contends that only with Catholicism lies the hope for a synthesis of modernity and Christianity. Protestantism's long struggle with secular change affords lessons and perspective on how Catholicism's current disarray might provide a crucial opportunity for revitalizing reform and reinterpretation. What some consider to be corrosive aspects -- naturalism, relativism, empiricism, self-determinism -- may cut through the deadwood of absolutism to disclose the lode of creative elements latent in Catholicism. In a wide-ranging exploration of theological foundations, Gilkey proceeds to spell out the ways in which catholicity, communal solidarity, respect for tradition, natural humanity and grace, sacramental sense, commitment to rationality may be reinterpreted in today's context to yield a vital and authentic Christianity. Though this essay is more suggestive than conclusive and perhaps too diffuse in focus, it provides a provocative and probing invitation to a necessary dialogue on fundamentals for liberal Catholics.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Seabury