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By What Authority?: A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   156
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 5.94" Height: 0.42"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2003
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  0814628729  
EAN  9780814628720  


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Item Description...
Overview
Authority is exercised in many ways and forms in the Catholic Church today. By What Authority? offers a helpful introduction to the forms of Church authority that are concerned with authentic Christian belief. Gaillardetz explains what it means to say that the Bible is inspired, how Scripture and tradition are related to one another, the role of the pope and bishops in preserving the Christian faith, the levels of Church teaching authority, how to deal with disagreements with Church teaching, the distinctive role of the theologians, and the contribution of all the baptized in the formation of Church teaching. This book introduces readers to a basic understanding of the nature and exercise of authority in the Catholic Church as understood within the vision of the Church offered by the Second Vatican Council. The chapters conclude by outlining disputed issues regarding the topic of that chapter and a select list of opportunities for further reading.

Publishers Description

Authority is exercised in many ways and forms in the Catholic Church today. "By What Authority? "offers a helpful introduction to the forms of Church authority that are concerned with authentic Christian belief. Gaillardetz (Gă lăr dēē) explains what it means to say that the Bible is inspired, how Scripture and tradition are related to one another, the role of the Pope and bishops in preserving the Christian faith, the levels of Church teaching authority, how to deal with disagreements with Church teaching, the distinctive role of the theologians, and the contribution of al the baptized in the formation of Church teaching. This book introduces readers to a basic understanding of the nature and exercise of authority in the Catholic Church as understood within the Vision of the Church offered by the Second Vatican Council. The chapters conclude by outlining disputed issues regarding the topic of that chapter and a select list of opportunities for further reading.

Chapters in "Part One: The Authority of Scripture and Tradition" are What Does It Mean to Say the Bible is Inspired?" *What Is the Canon of the Bible? - and *What Is the Relationship Between Scripture and Tradition? - Chapters in "Part Two: The Authority of Church Teaching and the Church's Teaching Office" are *How Do We Understand the Magisterium Today? - *How Do the Pope and Bishops Exercise Their Teaching Authority? - and *What Is Dogma and Doctrine? - Chapters in"Part Three: The Authority of the Believer and the Believing Community" are *What Is the Sense of the Faithful? - *Is There a Place for Disagreement in the Catholic Church? - and *What Is the Proper Relationship Between the Magisterium and Theologians? -

"Richard R. Gaillardetz, PhD, is the Margaret and Thomas Murray and James J. Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo. Among his other publications is "Teaching with Authority," published by Liturgical Press. He is an official delegate on the U.S. Catholic - Methodist Ecumenical Dialogue. In 2000 he received the Sophia Award from the faculty of the Washington Theological Union in recognition of *theological excellence in service to ministry. - ""

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More About Richard R. Gaillardetz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! RICHARD R. GAILLARDETZ, Ph.D., is married and the father of four sons. He is the Thomas and Margaret Murray and James J. Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo. He is a popular speaker at theological and pastoral conferences and author of several academic and pastoral books and booklets.

Richard R. Gaillardetz currently resides in Toledo. Richard R. Gaillardetz was born in 1958.

Richard R. Gaillardetz has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Theology and Life Series
  2. Theology in Global Perspectives


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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Foggy responses  Oct 8, 2007
With due respect to another reviewer, Gaillardetz's book is the last place an RCIA candidate or confirmandi should go for guidance on how to understand an appropriate response by the faithful to Church teaching. Gaillardetz believes that only a very rigid form of heresy that involves the explicit rejection of a dogma impairs one's status with the Catholic Church. He even goes so far as to say that the rejection of morally-binding social doctrines (he cites Church teaching on cohabitation) "does not in any way separate" a person from communion with the Church. This is pure conjecture. Doctrines exist in order to establish boundaries around what is morally licit behavior. In other words, to go beyond those boundaries is to sin, and sinning does indeed impair one's communion with Christ and His Church. At any rate, on too many questions Gaillardetz provides foggy responses instead of clear answers.
 
Skilled handling of a complex subject  Oct 12, 2005
Richard Gaillardetz is one of the most perceptive and skilled theologians around, as well as being gifted with the ability to write in a simple and clear manner. I say this having read and used a number of his other publications in articles and teaching. This little book on the Magisterium is more evidence of that. He is faithful to the Magisterium while explaining it in a way that makes sense to anyone willing to read the material. This is a solid introductory presentation on the topic of the Magisterium that can be used for undergraduate theology students or interested general readers.
 
Should be obligatory reading for RCIA & Confirmation classes  Jan 21, 2005
This is a fabulous book that presents challenging topics in easily digestible chapters. Each chapter concludes with a list of ideas realted to the chapters that are currently being debated, with perspetives from both sides of the debate, and a list of further reading sources.

Thank you Richard Gaillardetz for fleshing out principles and entities, which to me always seemed nebulous. It is easier to respect and feel that I belong to a community of the faithful, when I possess a better definition of the the government of the faithful and my obligations as a member of such a community.

Gaillardetz traces the history of authority as it has been articulated by the Chruch. He looks at the orgin of Scripture as a source, and the bodies that have always claimed to protect Scripture. He presents a concrete skeleton of the magisterium, and differentiates between the many different sources of teachings presented form the Church's offices, and which are more binding than others, and in what terms.

I thought the chapter on the role of an individual's conscience in accepting the churchs' ruling on issues which were not given as infallible teachings was most valuable. Gaillardetz outlines the importance of distinguishing the reasons for disagreement and how to discern whether they are motivated from issues with authority in general, weeknesses on the behalf of the individual, or a pure difference in moral interpretation. In concordance with the Catholic Catechism he advises that we are ultimately the ones who suffer the most of we commit immoral acts, and we must follow our conscience when it is speaking to us on morality. This is solid Catholic teaching, contrary to what a reviewer noted below, and something that more should be written about, to countreact the tendency for those who follow their conscience as being derisively called "cafeteria Catholics."

Rather than present theology as a static monolithic institution, Gaillardetz presents it as a dialogue between the entire living church; not just the exclusive domain of the hierarchical clergy. His perspective is refreshing, and uplifting. Hopefully many more works by him will follow.
 
Reduces the teachings of the Church to legalism  Feb 2, 2004
One of the last chapters in this book was published in the Ligourian magazine. The chapter explains exactly what you have to do to be a Catholic in good standing. It categorizes each set of beliefs and teachings of the Church and proceeds to tell you that you only really have to follow the first set to consider yourself a Catholic in good standing.

The worst part of it is that the canon of Sacred Scripture is included in the second section (the one that you don't have to accept).

The Catholic has been accused of legalism and excessive use of rules, etc, and this book serves to reinforce that mind set. If you are looking for a book to justify you lack of living a good moral life according to the laws of God, then this is it.

Unfortunately, the book has some good points, but they really don't apply to you unless your conscience agrees with it.

Jesus said that he came to set us free from the law. But this book does the opposite, it actually abolishes the law and says that it really doesn't apply to you (at least 98% of it doesn't).

 
An outstanding primer on an important subject!  Oct 11, 2003
This is a much needed book on the subject. It clearly explains the interrelationship between Scripture, the Magisterium (i.e., the Church's teaching office), and Tradition. The author methodically and painlessly guides the reader through a somewhat complicated subject, leaving him/her with a distinct sense of increased understanding. Simplified, but never simplistic. A must read for every Catholic, and interested Protestant alike.
 

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