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Fr Aidan Nichols

 Conclusion: Retrospect
and Prospect

Introduction:The Importance of the Question

Why is the issue of doctrinal development worth studying? In what respects is it a significant, or even a crucial, issue for theology, and, indeed, for faith?

In the first place: for Catholic theology, the issue of doctrinal development is vital to the justification of specifically Catholic Christian doctrinal insights, vis-à-vis the serious objections to these which other historic Christian communities can lodge. For it may be said that certain elements met with in Catholic teaching today, such as, for example, the doctrine of Purgatory, were not found in the early Church, or, at any rate, can be found there only with difficulty. But if an aspect of the public faith of the Church today was not a constitutive part of the original apostolic preaching, at least not in any obvious sense, how can this aspect be supported, or even tolerated?

Put negatively, in terms of apologetics, this is a matter of defending the Catholic Church against the claim that it has corrupted the Gospel by adding to it elements which are not divinely revealed, being of merely human devising. The classic case against Catholicism in just such terms was made by John Henry Newman in his Anglican period. Writing in 1837, in pursuance of the theme of Anglican identity, Newman wrote:

Romanism may be considered as an unnatural and misshapen development of the Truth; not the less dangerous because it retains traces of its genuine features, and usurps its name . . . However the Church of Rome may profess a reverence for Antiquity, she does not really feel and pay it. There are in fact two elements in operation within her system. As far as it is Catholic and Scriptural, it appeals to the Fathers; as far as it is a corruption, it finds it necessary to supersede them. Viewed in its formal principles and authoritative statements, it professes to be the champion of past times; viewed as an active and political power, as a ruling, grasping, ambitious principle, in a word, as what is expressively called popery, it exalts the will and pleasure of the existing Church above all authority, whether of Scripture or Antiquity, interpreting the one and disposing of the other by its absolute and arbitrary decree. [1]

Nor should it be supposed that such objections to Catholic belief are no longer met with in the contemporary period. Thus in the wake of the proclamation of the dogma of the Bodily Assumption of the blessed Virgin Mary in 1950, the Lutheran Friedrich Heiler commented that, in the matter of dogmatic evolution:

Roman Catholic apologetic has not only happily adopted, overnight, one of the basic affirmations of the Modernist concept of dogma, but has outdone the Modernists themselves. [2]

Or again, R. P. C. Hanson, one of the most classically Anglican theologians of recent times, had this to say:

Their (Catholics') religion is a religion which looks to the present, and to the future for its revelation, indeed one which may confidently expect new revelations and new fundamental doctrines of Christianity to emerge in the future into public gaze ... In this insistence it has entirely deserted the whole emphasis and outlook of primitive Christianity, it has reversed the current of original faith. [3]

And pointing out that the Church must consider itself bound by its original tradition, expressed in Scripture, Hanson maintains that such apparent doctrinal advances as the affirmation of the Son's consubstantiality with the Father, made at the First Council of Nicaea, are not development of that tradition, in the sense of adding fresh articles to its faith. Rather are they measures of defence expressed in the thought-forms of a period, and constructed in such a way as to meet some particular attack on an original identity.

Genuine development of Christian doctrine ... has taken place only in the enunciation of certain formulae necessary to protect the original tradition of the Church from error. These formulae are only defide, necessary to salvation, in as far as points of controversy have been raised to which they could be the only answer if the witness of the Bible to God's revelation in Jesus Christ was to be maintained in its truth. [4]

Nor are such gravamina confined to individuals, perhaps isolated or in some way atypical. At the time of the promulgation of the Assumption dogma, the Evangelical-Lutheran faculty of theology in the University of Heidelberg issued a joint statement to the effect that the Catholic Church now claims in practice:

to be able to generate apostolic teaching, whereas its official commission is meant to be simply to guard and interpret historically transmitted apostolic teaching in its [5]

Put positively, in the context of ecumenism, the same problem presents itself as an invitation to the other historic churches to share the Christian religion in a fuller form, a form which amplifies but does not distort what we may call 'New Testament religion'. The ecumenical importance of the theme of development has been well expressed by the American Jesuit John Courtney Murray, best known for his part in the marking of the Second Vatican Council's declaration on religious freedom. Murray wrote:

I consider that the parting of the ways between the two Christian communities [he is speaking of Catholicism and Protestantism] takes place on the issue of development of doctrine. That development has taken place in both communities cannot possibly be denied. The question is, what is legitimate development, what is organic growth in the understanding of the original deposit of faith, what is warranted extension of the primitive discipline of the church, and what, on the other hand, is accretion, additive increment, adulteration of the deposit, distortion of true Christian discipline?
. . . Perhaps, above all, the question is, What are the limits of development and growth - the limits that must be reached on peril of archaistic stuntedness, and the limits that must not be transgressed on peril of futuristic decadence?

It was in this more limited context of justifying - whether defensively, in apologetics, or, more eirenically, in the ecumenical context, specifically Catholic doctrines (and
practices) that the theme of doctrinal development first emerged into the full light of intellectual day in the middle of the nineteenth century. John Henry Newman's
Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine of 1845 is the first full scale treatise devoted to the concept, though there are earlier hints at a notion of development in patristic and mediaeval writing. Newman's essay coincided with an awakening of interest in the theme in Germany, among the theologians of the Catholic Tubingen school, and also, though to a lesser extent, at Rome - in the Roman college of the Society of Jesus. [7] The emergence of interest in the topic in three widely dispersed centres - England, Wurttemberg, Rome - each in independence of the other seems to call for some explanation.

A sufficient explanation can be offered by pointing to two factors. First, by the mid nineteenth century, the Catholic Church was undergoing a marked revival in comparison with the low ebb to which it had sunk during the years of the Revolutionary period. As a result of this renaissance, Catholics were more willing to put forward their claim to be, in some unique sense, the Church Christ founded. Secondly, the nineteenth century was not only a century of advance in historical studies but a century which naturally thought in an historical manner. People regarded historical explanations as, of all explanations, the most illuminating where ideas, events or institutions were concerned. The combination of the Catholic revival and this historical mind-set led, in predictable fashion, to an apologia for Catholicism by appeal to the idea of development.

So much for the more limited segment of discussion in which concepts of doctrinal development are important. The wider context to which the theme belongs concerns, not the justifying of specifically Catholic doctrines, but of the entire ensemble of mainstream historic Christianity as a religion genuinely founded on the original message of Jesus. Here what is in question is the whole pattern of faith, ethics, worship and Church order on which all historic Christian churches are agreed. Who are the groups that constitute such 'historic Christian churches'? They are all those who accept that the original Gospel is found today in a visible community, defmed dogmatically by the faith of the general councils of the undivided Church, worshipping through liturgical forms with a strong family resemblance amongst themselves, and governed through a three-fold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons in an historic succession from the apostles. All such churches, and above all the Catholic and separated Eastern churches, but also Old Catholics, together with the 'high church' portions of Anglicanism and Lutheranism, share a fundamental perception of the nature of Christianity. The religious structure which emerged in the patristic period is, they hold, that structure which was intended by Jesus Christ and his apostles, so that, between the original Gospel preaching and the Church that emerged from the somewhat obscure period known as the 'sub-apostolic tunnel', there is, fundamentally, continuity and not discontinuity.

The belief that between Jesus and the later Church there stretches a basic continuity was rudely shaken by the exegetical and historical enquiries of later nineteenth century scholars, especially in Germany. The 'History of Religions' school, found in a number of German universities as the nineteenth century drew to its close, approached the study of Christian origins in a purely scientific, value-free, spirit - or, at any rate, this was their methodological ideal. Many of their results were at variance with the traditional picture of Jesus and the primitive Church. The encounter between this radical exegesis and historiography on the one hand, and traditional orthodoxy on the other, provoked, once transferred to the Catholic environment, that crisis which would soon be notorious as 'Modernism'.

Modernism's characteristic tendency was to use the idea of doctrinal development so as to justify the emergence from primitive Christianity of the classical Christian pattern of the patristic era and beyond, but at the same time to suggest that what had once changed so drastically might well change drastically again. So far as the Catholic authorities were concerned, neither the Modernists' manner of defending the Great Church of late antiquity, nor their proposals for an imminent transformation of Catholicism were acceptable. Nevertheless, the scholarly charge that the religion of Jesus and the primitive community was very different from later Christianity still stood, mulishly refusing to go away, and continuing to provide the wider context in which notions of doctrinal development retain their importance today.

It may be useful at this point to give some idea of what those alternative accounts of Christian origins were, or are, to challenge the historic Christian churches' self-understanding so profoundly. Four principal contending versions may be mentioned, all produced, it is perhaps worth noting, by German or Swiss-German scholars.

First in time comes that of Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930), probably the most eminent patristic scholar of his time, especially in matters of the ante-Nicene Church. [8] After holding chairs at various German universities, Harnack became professor at Berlin in 1889, director of the Prussian Staatsbibliothek in 1905, and in 1910 president of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft for the promotion of learning and science. A founder of the important series Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, [9] he used his own numerous contributions to the series in order to compose his great Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, Englished as the History of Dogma, [10] which traces the history of Christian doctrine as far as the Reformation, but with emphasis on the late antique age. For Harnack, dogma is 'a creation of the Greek spirit added to the apostolic faith'. [11] What the Gospel would look like once shorn of patristic doctrine, he attempted to show In his Das Wesen des Christentums, in English, What is Christianity? [12] which, by its overwhelmingly ethical presentation of Christianity, attracted more popular attention. His mature views on the emergence of doctrine were summarised in Die Entstehung der christlichen Theologie und des kirchlichen Dogmas. [13]

Harnack stressed that the earliest Church preached a message of salvation to which the appropriate response was an act of faith, expressed in a new way of life. But, in superfluous, indeed damaging, addition, the Church soon acquired a formulated doctrine, assent to which was deemed a necessary condition of her membership. Referring to the dogmas of the Incarnation and the Trinity, Harnack wrote:

In these later dogmas an entirely new element has entered into the conception of religion. The message of religion has been clothed in an understanding of the world, and of'the ground of the world, which has been obtained in advance without any reference to the Christian proclamation. Thus religion has become a doctrine which takes its certainty from the Gospel but only part of its content. [14]

Or, as he put it pithily by way of summing up: 'Dogma in its conception and construction is a product of the Greek spirit on the soil of the Gospel'.[15] If Gnosticism represents an acute form of the invasion of Christianity by Hellenism, the Church's orthodoxy implies a more gradual and low-grade infection by the same germ. In the official Church, reliance upon the Spirit of Jesus and his unpredictable gifts was replaced by dependence on a machinery of episcopal government. The Gospel was not, however, fully lost to view: at the Reformation, as events proved, it could be recovered. But it was deeply damaged by philosophically-derived formulations which wove into its fabric many of the preoccupations of contemporary secular thought. In particular, through the work of the early Christian Apologists, the Greek philosophical idea of the Logos was assimilated to the person of Jesus. [16] The attraction of this was that the Logos concept hypostatised God's creative rationality without endangering his unity: it allowed him to be active in the world without calling into question his transcendence. But the price was too high. When, on the analogy of the divinity of the Son, Godhead was also ascribed to the Spirit of Jesus, the resultant doctrine of the Triune God was nothing but a Begriffsphantaise, 'conceptual fantasy', the result of wild and whirling speculation, uncontrolled by historical reference. [17]

The second radically heterodox but highly influential construal of Christian origins which should be mentioned here is that of Martin Werner (1887-1964). In his Die Entstehung des christlichen Dogmas, Englished as The Formation of Christian Dogma, [18] Werner began by accepting Albert Schweitzer's account of the original Gospel, namely, that the preaching of Jesus was through and through eschatological. According to Schweitzer, Jesus had predicted the imminent end of the present world-order and went to his death believing that his sacrifice on the Cross would bring this about. The earliest disciples lived, therefore, in the kind of immediate expectation of the Parousia which Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians exemplifies. When hope of the Second Coming faded, the Church, according now to Werner's book, pushed through a process called by him Enteschatologisierung, 'de-eschatologising', which turned Christianity into a totally different kind of religion. Later orthodoxy, therefore, has little or no continuity with the faith of the New Testament. Thus the Father of the original preaching became the Absolute of Greek philosophy; the Son of Man, a supernatural angelic agent, was transmuted in the divine Logos, the substantial 'Word' produced by the Absolute. The New Testament Christ, a victor over host cosmic powers, became the agent in the creation of a tame universe. The New Testament idea of salvation incorporation into a community of elect persons who only will be safe when the turn of the ages comes was replaced with a theory of redemption by deification operating through sacraments. The formless charismatic community of the apostolic Church became a hierarchically ordered a hierurgically orientated society. Thus the Christian Church became what Werner calls

a Hellenistic-syncretistic Mystery religion, laden with the decadence of post-classical religiosity, strutting about in Christian dress. [19]

A third theory of Christian origins subversive of traditional faith is that of Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976). The two ( principal texts to be considered are his Theologie des neue Testaments rapidly translated as Theology of the New Testament and the slightly later Das Urchistentum im Rahmen der antiken Religionen, Englished as Primitive Christianity in its Contemporary Setting. [20] Bultmann's theory is, in different respects, both more radical and less radical than those 0f Harnack and Werner. It is more radical in that, for Bultmann the invasion by alien elements of the original message about Jesus - the proclamation of a new quality of existence made possible by the Easter events - has already taken place in th New Testament itself. Gnosticism, according to Bultmann, antedates the New Testament, and the trace-elements of its cosmological and cultic concerns have sullied the waters at their source. However, Bultmann's account is less radical in that, unlike at any rate Werner, he did not subscribe to this view that the primary religious declaration of Christianity - its kerygma - was ever wholly dominated by alien factors. Rather did the two struggle together for mastery. Though the process of transition, through the New Testament writings, to the life, teaching and organisation of the later Church was outwardly smooth, inner continuity with the original Gospel was at all times under threat. The Church, the bearer of the Gospel, had but a fluctuating hold on her own spiritual treasure. While she might damage the Gospel by the inappropriate forms of expression which she used to communicate her message, she did not, however, wholly destroy it.

Finally, there is the theory of Walter Bauer in his study Rechtgläubigkeit und Ketzerei in ältesten Christentum which English-speaking readers may consult under the title Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity. [21] Bauer's study is the most erudite and detailed of the four, at least as regards the patristic material under consideration. Basically, Bauer maintains that in the first two centuries there was no clear cut distinction between orthodoxy and heresy. Both orthodoxy and heresy arose simultaneously in the Church, and the traditional view is mistaken in regarding error as later than orthodoxy. Should orthodoxy be understood in any formal, or self-conscious, sense, it was, if anything, subsequent to heresy. Bauer held that formal orthodoxy began as a splinter group under episcopal leadership, only slowly achieving a dominant position in the life of the Church. It was the Roman see which imposed its own standard of orthodoxy on the rest, using the church of Corinth as its spring-board. Such churches as those of Syria and Alexandria were to begin with quite heterodox, and only gradually did they come to accept the belief-system later hailed as true Christianity. Bauer himself, so it has been suggested, regarded the unity of primitive Christianity as sheer, simple relationship with the one Lord. [22]

Bauer assumes that the essence of the Christian faith is a principle beyond history and speech: once this 'transcendental' reality is 'categorically' expressed and apprehended, it is misapprehended, and the more thoroughgoing the articulation, the graver the distortion . . . He is still bound up in a philosophical world where 'inner' truthfulness is perenially at odds with and at risk from the deceitfulness of material history, and still disposed to see the heart of Christianity as a supernatural - non-worldly, non-historical - still point, to which the contradictory and compromised phenomena of time (persons, words, institutions) are related in an inexpressible or inscrutable way. [23]

Giving such a primacy to the existential over against the historical links Bauer's theory, evidently, to that of Bultmann.

All four theories postulate a marked contrast between the original gospel message and the faith of the fourth century golden age of the patristic Church, although they disagree about the point at which the rupture between the Gospel and the later Church occurred. The assessment of these theories will depend to a large degree on exact scholarship: for instance, on what one thinks of Werner's understanding of New Testament Christology, or again whether one can believe Bauer's re-construction of the early Alexandrian church. In so far as detailed scholarship turns out to destroy their theories, then the problem they create disappears with them. But on the other hand, to the extent that their writings are based on what look like facts, we do have a real problem on our hands, namely that of describing the kind of continuity which may be said to link the original Gospel to the Great Church of later centuries. And for this task we need some view of doctrinal development.

To sum up, the two great questions which cannot be answered without some consideration of doctrinal development are: How is the confession of the Catholic
Church to be justified,
vis-à-vis other Christian churches, and how is the primitive Creed, the Creed of the early Church, to be justified, over against alternative readings of Christian origins. Newman and his contemporaries considered largely the first issue; the Modernists, and their rivals the Neo-Thomists, chiefly the second, though, naturally, the two contexts are to be found intersecting with each other from time to time. Those contemporary or near-contemporary writers who have contributed to the debate, such as Schillebeeckx, Congar and Rahner, were more or less equally concerned with both. This is because, as scholars, they knew that the wider question of justifying historic Christianity is still urgent, while as pastors they were also concerned with ecumenism, and hence with the problem of commending specifically Catholic doctrines to other main-line Christians.

From this account of what seems important in the issue of doctrinal development it is possible to construct a picture of the course we shall be following. Essentially, this study is a history of the problem of doctrinal development from the 1840's to the present day. As such, it will fall into four sections. First, we will look at the full-scale emergence of the idea of development in Newman. Secondly, we will examine a variety of attitudes to development among the Modernist writers. Thirdly, we will investigate the Neo-Thomist - or, more widely, Neo-Scholastic - theory of doctrinal development as well as a 'sport' in the orthodox reaction to Modernism, the lay theology of Blondel. Finally, our focus will be upon a number of authors who, from the 1940's onwards, have contributed to the construction of a theological synthesis on this issue in near-contemporary Catholicism. Though the approach is primarily historical, the aim is to identify elements of enduring value in the writers discussed. An 'epilogue' to the story will suggest how, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the play of three notions -pluralism, hermeneutics (or interpretation theory) and reception - has so widened its scope as to imperil the admirably balanced position which immediately pre-conciliar theology so painstakingly occupied, and the Council itself, in the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, on Divine Revelation, beautifully mirrored.

In recent years, the existence, within Catholicism, of theological voices raised in commendation of a wide latitude for that trio of revisionist concepts has given to some commentators the hope - or fear - that this communion is in process of abandoning that strongly (but not exclusively) intellectual understanding of doctrine so deeply entrenched in its tradition and implied at all points in the operation of its teaching authority, or magisterium. Thus Paul Avis, a member of the Church of England's commission for doctrine, draws attention to these three key notions, as handled by Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx and Yves Congar in their post-conciliar writings (as also by other Catholic divines such as Bernard Lonergan, Hans Kung, Charles Davis), to support the claim that, in the less epistemologically benighted reaches of the Catholic Church, such a de-construction is underway, bringing with it, he rejoices to expect, the end of the magisterium as we have known it.
[24] By this he means not simply the curtailment of this or that formal procedure of doctrinal evaluation but the abandonment of the claim to a unique supernatural revelation, whose content is, at least in part, inaccessible by any other means to human subjects; the surrender of the conviction that the community of faith, thanks to the economies of the Son and the Spirit, can determine with both certainty and clarity the truths comprised in a 'deposit of faith' (if not exhaustively, and in all respects); and the demise of the theological belief, canonised in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of the Second Vatican Council, that the Church progresses in her grasp of the truth, seeing it, over time, more lucidly than she did before. As one of his witnesses, Charles Davis, triumphantly sums up, in relation to the theme of praxis, so important to much contemporary hermeneutics:

Since the identity and truth of a tradition cannot be established theoretically, the religious structure we refer to as orthodoxy is rendered impossible. [25]

But as orthodoxy is nothing other than the right rendering of public doctrine, any question of the legitimate development of that doctrine - as distinct from the mere happenstance of a multiplicity of trajectories for praxis, is here ruled out of court.

Avis' account is, in part, an apologia for what he takes to be the typical, and permanently valuable, reverent agnosticism of Anglicanism on all matters involving inerrancy and infallibility. The Catholic view that revelation permits the definitive distinguishing of truth and error in a way which is determinative for all succeeding generations, as for all contemporary cultures, is, he tells us, profoundly inimical to the Anglican tradition. In this regard, he finds a

significant affinity between the instincts of Anglicanism and the position worked out by the Roman Catholic Modernists. [26]

It is not, perhaps, for a Catholic author to question the reading of Anglican sources made by so highly placed an Anglican theologian. Yet prima facie, the notion that such foundational doctrines of Christianity as the Incarnation and the Trinity would have been regarded by central figures in the Anglican tradition, from the English Reformers to the late Arthur Michael Ramsey, as simply interpretative models whereby constructive theological reason offers a tentative or exploratory reading of the tacit dimension to the Jesus event, seems little convincing.

More widely, Avis' criticism of the agreed doctrinal statements produced by bilateral dialogue between the Anglican and Roman Catholic communions is based upon a particular epistemology, which plays off imagination - with its own distinctive resources of mythopoeic story-telling, symbolisation and concrete image, against intellect in its propositional mood. 'The more precise and formalised statements become, the less they tell us.' [27] But this is a false dichotomy: it does not identify a choice which needs to be made. Imagination plays a vital role in our grasping the event of revelation, and as such is necessarily prior to the rational interpretation and, in part, justification of that revelation. [28] Yet as Dr Julius Lipner has pointed out, by way of reviewing Avis' book:

It is the glory of human consciousness that its tacit dimension can come to fruition in propositions, in articulated meanings which can be true or false. [29]

The story of the idea of doctrinal development from Newman to Congar shows an oscillation between an exaggerated respect for the non-intellectual factors in faith among the Modernists, to a over-enthusiastic embrace of the intellectual elements on the part of the Neo-Scholastics. But the position which Catholic divinity reached on the eve of the Second Vatican Council was well-tempered not least because its best practitioners - the Rahner, Schillebeeckx and Congar of that period - were sensitive to the demands both of imagination and of reason in the formulation of what it is, on the basis of a revelation which is at once trancendent beauty and divine action, that the Church knows to be true. [30]


1. J. H. Newman,
Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church (London 1837),
p. 100.

2. F Heiler, 'Katholischer Neomodernjsmus. Zu den Versuchen emer Verteidigung
des neuen Mariendogmas', in
Oekungenjsche Einheit II. 3 (1951), p. 233.

3. 1n R. P. C. Hanson and R. Fuller,
The Church of Rome. A Dissuasive (London
1948), p. 84.

4. lbid., p. 102.

5. Cited by Heiler in his 'Das neue Mariendogma in Licht der Geschichte und im Urteil der Oekumene, 2' in Oekumenische Einheit II. 3 (1951). pp. 240-55. On the
controversy aroused by the preparation of the dogma, see H. Hammans, Die neueren katholischen Erklärungen der Dogmenentwicklung (Essen 1965), pp. 7-9: much more fully: A. G. Aiello, Sviluppo del dogma e tradizione. A proposito della definizione dell'Assunzione di Maria (Rome 5979); and, from a Protestant perspective (Auctores varii) Die Geschiclstlichkeit der Kirche und ihrer Verkündigung als theologisches Problem (Tubingen 1954), pp. 44-5.

6. J. Courtney Murray S.J., The Problem of God Yesterday and Today (New Haven
1964), p. 53; cited in J. Pelikan, Development of Christian Doctrine. Some Historical Prolegomena (London 1969), p. 1.

7. For the work of the Tubingen school, see, above all, J. R. Geiselmann, Die katholische Tübingen Schule: ihre theologische Eigenart (Freiburg 1965); its chief theorist of development was Johann Adam Möhler, on whom see H. R. Nienaltowski, Johann Adam Möhler's Theory of Doctrinal Development. Its Genesis and Formulation (Washington 1959), For the Roman teaching, see especially J. B. Franzelln, Dc Traditione at Scriptura (Rome 18823), pp. 263-315; and, more widely, W. Kasper, Die Lehre von der Tradition in der Römischen Schule (Freiburg 1962). In his foreword to this study, Geiselmann declared that in Franzelin, Möhler had been present at the First Vatican Council, ibid., p. viii.

8. For his life, see A. von Zahn-Hamack, Adolf von Harnack (Berlin 1951

9. 1882 ff.

10. 1886-9; ET History of Dogma (London 1894-99).

11. P. Schrodt, The Problem of the Beginning of Dogma in Recent Theology (Frankfurt am Main 1978), p. 3.

12. 1900: ET
What is Christianity (London 1901; New York 1957).

13. 1927

14. H. E. W. Turner,
The Pattern of Christian Truth A Study in the Relations between Orthodoxy and Heresy in the Early Church (London 1954), p. 17.

15. A. von Harnack, Dogmengeschichte 1. p. 20.

16. lbid. I. p. 346.

17. lbid. II. pp. 292-3.

18. Die Entstehung des christlichen Dogmas (Berne 1941); Et The Formation of Christian Dogma (London 1957). On this writer, see M. U. Balsiger, 'Un thélogien méconnu: Martin Werner', Etudes théologiques et religieuses 64.1 (1989), pp. 23-44.

19. Die Entstehung des christlichen Dogmas, op. cit., p. 725.

20. Theologie des neuen Testaments (Tubingen 1948-53); Et Theology of the Neu
(New York 1951-55); Das (Urchristentum in Rahmen der antiken Religionen (Zürich 1949); Et Primitive Christianity in its Contemporary Setting (London 1956).

21. Rechtgläubigkeit und Ketzerei in ältesten Christentum (Tübingen 1934); Et Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity (Philadelphia 1971).

22. W Schneemelcher, 'Walter Bauer ala Kirchenhistoriker', New Testament Studies
9 (5962), pp. 11-22.

23. R. Williams, 'Does it make sense to speak of pre-Nicene orthodoxy', in idem. (ed.), The Making of Orthodoxy. Essays in Honour of Henry Chadwick (Cambridge 1989), pp 4-5.

24. P. Avis, Ecumenical Theology and the Elusiveness of Doctrine (London 1986).

25. C. Davis, Theology and Political Society (Cambridge 1980), p. 8.

26. P Avis, Ecumenical Theology and the Elusiveness of Doctrine, op., cit., pp. 56-7.

27. lbid., pp. 26-7.

28. See especially on this J. McIntyre, Faith, Theology and Imagination (Edinburgh 1987).

29. Cited from
New Blackfriars 68. 804 (1987), pp. 203-4.

30. In this formulation I intend to refer to the theological trilogy of '
theological aesthetics', 'theological dramatics' and 'theological logic' produced by this century's greatest Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (1904-88). Balthasar Via Nichols

The above chapter is taken from
From Newman to Congar
by Aidan Nichols OP - ISBN 0 567 291812

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This Version: 18th July 2009

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Fr Aidan Nichols

 Conclusion: Retrospect
and Prospect