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(RNS) For more than four decades, Harvey Cox has been one of America’s most influential and provocative theologians. In his new book, “The Future of Faith,” Cox argues that Christianity is moving from an “Age of Belief” dominated by creeds and church hierarchies to an “Age of Spirit,” in which spirituality is replacing formal religion. […]

2 Comments

  1. Steve Phelan

    Questions unasked (understandably, you only got 10 minutes!)

    Q: Professor Burke, you say: “There was no central creed; it [early Christianity] was all centered on following Jesus.” If there is no agreement at all about what is believed about Jesus, then how can one follow him? And how exactly can anyone unite around an “idea” that is in no way defined? For wouldn’t the definition be dogma?

    and

    Q: Professor Burke, you said you asked then-Cardinal Ratzinger: “Why did you revoke the teaching license of Hans Kung? Why did you silence Leonardo Boff?” And then you imply that he ended the conversation early rather than suffer your interrogation. Could it be that he, like most serious men of letters, wants to know his interlocutor as a person before playing “gotcha”, so as not to reduce the other to your disagreements? Could the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith had better things to do? And do you think it’s fair or accurate to imply that Professor Kung has not been allowed to teach when he’s actually been quite successful as a professor?

    Is it not relevant that the pope has indeed answered the question several times in various forums as to why Kung was prevented from teaching Catholic theology at a Catholic school? And with Boff, are you feigning ignorance of the documents which detail exactly why he and surprisingly few others have been reprimanded for misrepresenting Church teaching, or do you really not know that such documents exist?

    Well then if you did intend to annoy Cardinal Ratzinger with gotcha questions to which you both already knew the answers, why feign surprise or offense that you were treated cordially then dismissed?

    So many questions, so little time.