From the time of the Second Vatican Council, there have been extraordinary developments in the Catholic Church's understanding of God's unitary plan for bringing Christians and non-Christians to salvation and eternal life. This book draws out the meaning and consequences of those developments, both in theology and in the world-view of Christian believers. The author offers a searching discussion of the importance, for Christian faith and life, of the relation between the natural religion of humanity--as reflected in different ways by all the religions of the world--and the revealed religion of Jesus Christ. Francis Clark makes a significant contribution to the ongoing debate on the theology of religious pluralism.
Among the themes progressively integrated in the catholic synthesis that is presented in the book are: the sources, content, and validation of natural theology; ontology as a universal pathway to religious understanding; theological perspectives on created matter and on the origins of the universe and of life; defense of divine design against the Neo-Darwinian denial; the dark mystery of evil; conscience and its supreme imperative; the nature of religious experience; and "the truth that pantheism distorts."
While Godfaring offers new and striking insights on fundamental questions of theology, philosophy, and religious anthropology, it also aims to discuss them in a way that is accessible to all readers who ponder the ultimate meaning of the world, of life, and of Christian faith. Throughout the book, the author tells of his personal wayfaring to God. He refers incidentally to particular events and experiences of his own long life of searching for answers to the ultimate questions.
A glossary of religious and philosophical terms is provided, as well as a list of Church documents cited, which serves as a useful history of the Church's official position on inter-religious dialogue.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Francis Clark, formerly a professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, is lecturer in theology and fellow at the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham (UK). He is the author of numerous works, including Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Reformation and Introduction to the Study of Religion.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"An earnest, rigorous, and faithful exploration of the One God's relationship to the whole of his creation.... Clark's life of 'Godward Wayfaring' has given rise to a deep commitment to interreligious dialogue, and his latest is an ambitious and generous work: one which aims at every turn to balance the seemingly contradictory claims of different religious, secular, and scientific world views."-- Modern Theology
" Godfaring is a synthesis relating Catholic thought to reason, faith, and natural theology. The book has a distinct niche for Catholic scientists and provides a valuable summation of natural theology from a Catholic perspective."-- Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
"I do not know of another book on the relation between Catholicism and other religions which so well balances the special claims of the Catholic Church on the one hand with the palpable moral and spiritual riches available in non-Christian religious traditions on the other."--Prof. Hugo A. Meynell
"After a life-time of teaching Christian theology and much contact with other religious traditions, Clark is admirably equipped for presenting a theological synthesis. His own experience leads him to reaffirm an authentic Catholic theology which he does with clarity and conviction."--Archbishop Michael F. Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue
" Godfaring is an exploration of Catholic thinking in the modern age, since Vatican II, and presents a new interpretation of the Church's position on such i
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