Volume 7, Issue 1, 2016
A New Theology of Women?
Lonergan’s Approach to Human Authenticity and Catholic Teaching on Womanhood
Pope Francis has stated that the Church needs a new theology of women although he has not expressed his views on the present magisterial teaching on womanhood. Feminist theologians certainly continue to seek ways to reconcile contemporary theological currents and aspirations with more traditional formulations such as the Church’s teaching on complementarity. But what does Bernard Lonergan have to say about the quest for whole personhood? This essay provides a summary and review of the magisterial teaching on womanhood and then compares it with Lonergan’s notions of the humanum and human authenticity. Our conclusion is that the human search for self-understanding and wholeness of being cannot be carried out authentically when the outcome is already prescribed by a traditional, classicist notion of what constitutes right personhood.