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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Professor Paul D. Murray

Murray, Paul D. (2005). Roman Catholic theology after Vatican II. In The modern theologians an introduction to Christian theology since 1918. Ford, David F. & Muers, Rachel. Oxford: Blackwell. 265-286.

Author(s) from Durham


The aim of this essay is to explore the key factors, debates and diverse – even conflicting – theological instincts and approaches that have shaped the story of European and North American Roman Catholic theology in the period after Vatican II. With this, the aim also is to identify what continues to be of real significance and, likewise, where the live issues are for contemporary Catholic theology. The first main section explores something of the complexity surrounding the diverse ways in which the story of modern Catholicism can be told. Following this the heart of the chapter consists in a series of three interrelated surveys of key dimensions of change and development in Catholic theology after the Council. The first focuses upon some notable changes in the institutional context of Catholic theology. The second deals with various crucial developments in relation to its perceived task, scope, methods and sources. In turn, the third explores a number of the most significant substantive changes in recent Catholic theological understanding. The concluding section draws all of this together by reflecting on what appropriate structures might enable Catholicism to negotiate most fruitfully the continuing task of discerning the living truth of God in Christ and the Spirit.


Series: The great theologians.