Richard Mcbrien Essays

Richard Mcbrien Essays-25
He was an upbeat, enthusiastic person, always deeply committed to the people he worked with, and always gracious and kind.I think he knew that I disagreed with him on a number of theological and pastoral issues, but he was always extremely friendly and encouraging to me. This kept the conversation alive within the field, even when it annoyed people!

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In your view, what did Father Mc Brien contribute to Catholic theology?

By the late 80s, though, this approach had definitely become a minority voice, especially among younger Catholics – and remains so, except in the secular media.

He used to say that if he were beginning his life over, he might well have become a politician instead of a priest.

I think that reveals a good deal about his understanding both of himself and of the priesthood. On a personal level, how will you remember Father Mc Brien?

He usually represented what had been a pretty widespread point of view among Catholic theologians in the late 60s and 70s: liberal on the “hot-button” issues, but—as he saw it—still theologically defensible.

Richard Mcbrien Essays

He understood himself, I think, to be making available a Catholic viewpoint that was both substantially anchored in the theological tradition and decidedly on the “progressive” side.But from all I have heard, he enjoyed both positions, and showed real leadership abilities in them.He was a team player, and like a good captain, sacrificed himself for what he thought were the best interests of the team.I know he liked Jesuits, and I think that eased our relationship a good deal.I will miss his generosity and his willingness to help all of us here work together, despite our differences, as a department of theology.In your view, what is the greatest need in Catholic theology today?I think our greatest need is for well-informed, generous moderation.We live in a culture that is increasingly polarized: in politics, in public discourse, in social institutions, even in the church.The “culture wars” continue to grow more intense, and to paralyze us. Awarded the Ratzinger Prize in Theology by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2012, Father Daley is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books on patristic theology. Father Richard Mc Brien, a longtime colleague of Father Daley’s in the Notre Dame theology department, died on Jan. A recent Associated Press obituary for Father Richard Mc Brien, your longtime colleague at Notre Dame, emphasized “his popular books on Catholicism and unabashed liberal stands on various church teachings.” Would you add, correct, or subtract anything from this capsule summary of his career? His many books, as well as his weekly columns in Catholic newspapers, were aimed mostly at the educated, non-specialist Catholic reader; they were never intended to break new frontiers of theological thinking. 27, I interviewed Father Daley by email about the legacy of his departed colleague. Mc Brien saw himself, I think, as a popular writer and commentator.


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