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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 11, Issue 2, 1999

William V. Dych
Pages 223-255

Transposing Orthodoxy into Orthopraxis
The Importance of Practical Theology and its Implications for Christology, Soteriology and Ecclesiology

Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), particularly its Pastoral Constitution on the Church and the Modern World, many Catholic theologians, including J. B. Metz, Karl Rahner, and Edward Schillebeeckx, have taken note of the need to see the practical implications of our theoretical doctrines. Taking its cue from a remark of Karl Rahner (1970) that the theological as such must be a principle of action, this article studies the implications of this for Christology, soteriology, and ecclesiology. The Christological implications are rooted in the long overdue recovery of the faith and hope of Jesus himself as the basis of the church’s faith in Jesus. The soteriological implications are rooted in recovering Jesus’ proclamation of the reign of God as the center of Christian soteriology. Finally, the ecclesiological implications are rooted in seeing the church as existing not for itself, but for the sake of the ongoing proclamation and realization of God’s reign in the present.

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