This exposé aims at identifying, describing and assessing conservative Catholic traditionalism within a critical perspective. Initially the author proposes a modification of the common distinction between schismatic traditionalism and a broader conservatism, as well as the division between Protestant fundamentalism and equivalent Catholic currents. After briefly sketching the history of Roman Catholicism from pope Pius IX to the present situation along these lines, it is maintained that conservative factions with traditionalist and rigid antimodern proclivities are hugely influential in todays church. Subsequently, the major varieties of Catholic conservatism are introduced – ranging from extreme conclavists and sedevacantists to contemporary bloggers, neo-conservatives and pope Benedict XVI. In a final paragraph, some theological objections to the traditionalist and antimodernist agenda are listed in the form of ten theses. The author, who is himself a Catholic, concludes that these trends are threatening to turn the Catholic Church into its absolute opposite – a self-absorbed sect.
Within modern philosophy and theology there seems to be a common agreement that all humans need to live freely inside – and not outside – of good interpersonal relations. This need arouses the question of relational qualities and conditions for the sake of real freedom. This article aims to give some reflections on this question from a systematic-theological point of view. This will be done firstly on a creation-theological basis combined with selected inputs from humanistic philosophy, represented by some central elements from the philosophies of Artistotle and Emmanuel Levinas; secondly by some basic soteriological thoughts, concentrated upon a study on Martin Luthers Treatise on Christian Liberty.
The article reviews the project Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation, Vol. I–II, edited by Magne Sæbø. It pays special attention to its background and uniqueness compared with other surveys of the research history of the Hebrew Bible: This project includes both the Jewish and the Christian history of interpretation, and scholars from both sides contribute to it. The review lays emphasis on Volume II (2008) and discusses in particular the methods of interpretation applied by some early and late Christian Hebraists and Jewish Bible commentators from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment.