Sunday, August 28, 2005

Leonardo Boff

Ecclesiogenesis: The Base Communities Reinvent the Church

For the Pastor-Theologian program this coming year, we're reading representative ecclesiologies from a variety of traditions. I'm tackling Boff's "liberation" theology right now, a work that is kind of dated, but does give interesting insights into theologians past Vatican II, and in the light of Lumen Gentium, worked within the orbit of Roman catholic theology while attempting to radicalize some of the definitions of the church.

This quote, for example:

"The basic church communities, while signifying the communitarian aspect of Christianity, and signifying it within the church, cannot pretend to constitute a global alternative to the church as institution. They can only be its ferment for renewal."

It's interesting to be reminded that liberation theology was not originally (I think this is true) a Protestant, but rather a Catholic, impulse. I imagine Boff's proposals would have seemed radical in his day. Will post more from these books as I move along.

1 comment:

  1. Have now finished Ecclesiogenesis, and although I do not believe the original liberation theology insight has lost its gravity, I would say this book has. It is overly concerned with structural, hierarchical issues in the church, and the way we approach the questions under disputation has moved forward (women's ordination, presidency at the Eucharist, etc.).

    On the other hand, the prescience of Boff to address these issues is fascinating, and the fact that his main interlocutor (and for a time, advocate) and now substantial opponent, Ratzinger, now heads the charge against most of the things Boff advocates, is both sad and interesting.