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The Promise of Critical Theology

Essays in Honour of Charles Davis

Edited by Marc P. Lalonde
Subjects Religion
Series Editions SR Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889202542, 158 pages, November 1995

Table of contents

Table of Contents for The Promise of Critical Theology: Essays in Honour of Charles Davis, edited by Marc P. Lalonde
Introduction | Marc P. Lalonde
1. Theology for Tomorrow | Charles Davis
2. For Whom Do We Write? The Responsibility of the Theologian | Paul Lakeland
3. The Path Marked Out by Charles Davis’ Critique of Political Theology | Dennis P. McCann
4. Pluralism, Conflict and the Structure of the Public Good | Kenneth R. Melchin
5. Welcoming the Other | Michael Oppenheim
6. Charles Davis and the “Warm Current” of Critical Theology | Marsha A. Hewitt
Charles Davis: A Selected Bibliography of his Work | Compiled by Daniel Cere
Contributors’ Bios
Daniel Cere completed his PhD with Charles Davis in 1990, and is currently director of Catholic Studies, Newman Centre, McGill University, Montreal.
Charles Davis, one-time professor of Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology at St. Edmund's College, Ware, England, taught in the Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, from 1970 to 1991. Charles Davis was also Principal of Lonergan University College, Montreal, beginning in 1987. He is now Professor Emeritus at Concordia University, and resides in Cambridge, England, with his family.
Marsha Ailleen Hewitt is a former student of Charles Davis, and now teaches at Trinity College, University of Toronto. She is the author of From Theology to Social Theory: Juan Luis Segundo and the Theology of Liberation and Critical Theory of Religion: A Feminist Analysis.
Paul Lakeland is Professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut. A former member of the Society of Jesus, Professor Lakeland is the author of two works on political theology, as well as Theology and Critical Theory: The Discourse of the Church. He is also coeditor of the new Fortress Press series, Guides to Theological Inquiry.
Marc P. Lalonde is a former student of Charles Davis. He has published articles in Journal of the American Academy of Religion and Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, among others. He has been undertaking postdoctoral studies at the Catholic University of Leuven, Concordia University, and St. Paul University, Ottawa.
Dennis P. McCann is the author of Christian Realism and Liberation Theology: Practical Theologies in Creative Conflict and New Experiment in Democracy: The Challenge for American Catholicism. He teaches at De Paul University, Chicago.
Kenneth R. Melchin of St. Paul University, Ottawa, previously studied with Charles Davis in Montreal. He is the author of History, Ethics and Emergent Probability: Ethics, Society and History in the Work of Bernard Lonergan.
Michael Oppenheim teaches modern Jewish philosophy at Concordia University, Montreal, and is the author of What Does Revelation Mean for the Modern Jew? Rosenzweig, Buber, Fackenheim and Mutual Upholding: Fashioning Jewish Philosophy through Letters.


Written in tribute to one of the foremost Catholic theologians in the English-speaking world, the essays in The Promise of Critical Theology address the question: Can critical theology secure its critical operation without undermining its foundation in religious tradition and experience? Is “critical theology” simply an oxymoron when viewed from both sides of the equation?
From Marc Lalonde’s introductory essay which delimits Davis’ fundamental position, that the primary task of critical theology is the critique of religious orthodoxy, the essays examine Davis’ distinction between faith and belief and build upon the promise of critical theology as inextricably bound to the promise of faith. They ask: What is its promise? What particular religious ideas, themes, stories are appropriate for its concrete expression? How can the community of faith receive its transformative message? What might be the contribution of other religious traditions and philosophies?
Essays by Paul Lakeland, Dennis McCann, Kenneth Melchin, Michael Oppenheim and Marsha Hewitt respond to these and other questions and critically relate Davis’ work to ongoing developments in modern theology, critical theory, philosophy and the social sciences. Their diversity attests to the comprehensive scope of Davis’ thought and exemplifies the progressive character of contemporary religious discourse. They honour Davis and illuminate the promise of critical religious thinking in itself.