Vol. 11 No.10 OCTOBER 1997


Editorial - The Word and the words
The Editor

Words with some purpose
Margaret Atkins

The religious language debate
Fergus Kerr OP
Many people think we can divide the world into 'facts' and 'values'. Fergus Kerr, author of Theology after Wittgenstein and now Immortal Longings shows how the fact / value divide arose and how philosophers have now moved beyond the religious language debate and can remove some of the harm it caused, for 'in morals, as well as in art and religion, people are very much inclined to behave as if judgement can never be objective'.

Are you being inclusive?
Ianthe Pratt
Language can distort reality. No more so than in a liturgical setting where the language is predominantly male. Ianthe Pratt, who is chairperson of the Association for Inclusive Language, explains the need for change. 'We need to develop sensitivity towards each other, not just to women but to all marginalised groups.'

The divine names and the experience of God
J.A. DiNoia OP
J.A. DiNoia, who is executive director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (USA), shows that in the inclusive language debate it is important 'to highlight the difference between a legitimate multiplication of metaphors by which we can think of God...and the divine pedagogy by which we are brought into an ever-deeper knowledge of what it means to call God "Father" by being incorporated and transformed into the life of the Trinity'.

Embracing science
Emma Hebblethwaite
It is often presumed that the language of science does not leave room for God. Emma Hebblethwaite, who is Chaplain at King's College, Cambridge, shows in this article, which is based on a sermon she preached at King's College chapel earlier this year, how theologians 'have addressed themselves to the real advances made by the mainline scientific community...and have thoroughly embraced what science has to offer'.

In the Catholic tradition: St Francis of Assisi
Michael Robson OFM Conv.
Francis of Assisi preached by the poverty of his life, but also, as Michael Robson, a Franciscan, Dean of St Edmund's College, Cambridge and author of a new book on Francis, St Francis of Assisi, the legend and the life points out, by continually finding 'new methods of expressing the delight and the richness of the gospel'. We honour Francis, one of the Church's greatest saints, on October 4th.

Prophetic gesture or letting the side down?
Pastor Ignotus

Preaching and teaching the word
Philip Caldwell
Philip Caldwell, who is a priest of the diocese of Salford doing research on dogmatic theology in Rome, gives a commentary on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of November.


Book reviews

Postscript: One Church or two?
Maureen Lynch

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