Current Issue 1/2022

In the new issue Verba Theologica (1/2022) can you find these studies:

Preaching from the Cross. A Study of Paul’s Preaching

This essay addresses three questions: Why did Paul preach? What did Paul preach? How did Paul preach? It argues that Paul preached because he was commissioned to do so at his call/conversion when the risen Christ was revealed to him. To preach the gospel was not Paul’s decision. He was commissioned and sent to preach, and so the content of his proclamation was not his own. Like a “herald” of the ancient world, he proclaimed the message of the gospel, the announcement of Christ’s death and resurrection, that was entrusted to him. Because he was a herald of the gospel, Paul did not preach with rhetorical eloquence lest he conceal the scandal of the crucified Christ. Rather, he proclaimed the gospel in a way that those who heard it had to choose whether to believe or reject the message of the cross he proclaimed. Thus, there is an intimate connection between why Paul preached, what he preached, and how he preached, which has implications for preaching today.

„According to the Perception through the Flesh – According to the Perception Mediated by the Spirit“: Rom 1,1-7 in Bible Translations and in a New Slovak Translation

In 2013 the Slovak Conference of Catholic Bishops initiated the work on a new translation of the Bible based on original languages. Biblical scholars in Slovakia, especially members of the Center for the Study of Biblical and Near Eastern World in Košice, have recently launched a project of the translation of Paul’s authentic letters, guided by the insights of the most recent exegetical literature. As a sample of their work, this article shows the challenges faced by a translator of Paul, especially semantic and syntactic ambiguity. It does so with the example of the epistolary praescriptio of Romans (1,1-7).

Via Media as an ecclesiological model and theological method according to John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Andrej Mária ČAJA

An attentive analysis of the concept of Via Media in the theology of John Henry Newman shows that while his ecclesiological model of the Anglican Church, conceived as a middle way between the extremes of the Roman Catholicism and the popular Protestantism, proved to be only a theory on paper, the theological method, which derived from it, was maintained by Newman throughout his whole theological career, i. e. both in his Anglican and Catholic period. His theological method of balancing and oscillating between various unilateral positions is exemplified in some of his polemical Anglican writings and in his major mariological contribution Letter to Pusey, which paves the way between maximalist and minimalist tendencies. It is suggested that since Newman’s method had a considerable impact on contemporary theology, it could serve as a fruitful means of overcoming hostile polarizations which threaten the Church and society.

The Mystery of Human Cognition According to Karl Rahner
Gabriela Genčúrová

Based on the confrontation of some theologians with Rahner's connection of theological and philosophical principles, especially the Anglo-American theological space, the article investigates the context of Rahner's theological thinking and defines the place of his theory of knowledge. The paper seeks to identify the basic features of Rahner's theory of knowledge, to capture its character, and to clarify its philosophical-theological context. It defines its starting points, describes its basic structure, and defines basic concepts. I conclude that Rahner's theory of cognition has the integral character of current humanistic theories of cognition.

A Timeless Didactic Conception of the "Jesus' cause" in the Work of Milan Machovec as a Challenge to Theological Reflection

The study analyzes the book by Milan Machovec, “Jesus for Modern Man”. It shows that the book was an intriguing .work within the Czechoslovak Marxist-Christian dialogue. “Jesus' cause”, which Machovec introduced to the readers of his time, can still be an appealing philosophical contribution to the topic of education for fully Christian humanity.

The Application of the Thomistic Principle of Double-Effect to Critical Bioethical Situations

Catholic moral argumentation in favour of absolute prohibition of all types of direct (intentional) abortions is vulnerable in one point, i.e. in case of therapeutic abortions. It is based on the identification of all direct abortions with a direct killing, which the author deems a wrong presupposition based on faulty analysis of an intention of action and distinction between the intention and the side-effect. Following the line of argumentation of New Natural Law Theory, this paper tries to propose modified conservative natural law position in which not all direct abortions are automatically identified with direct killing (although it admits the majority of non-therapeutic abortions involve direct killing). It criticizes the G. E. M. Anscombeʾs (and D. Černýʾs) objection of closeness of result or immediate result as unsound and her analysis of an example of stuck pot-holer as analogy to craniotomy. The paper presents the authorʾs own analysis of the stuck pot-holer example and craniotomy based on the argumentation of New Natural Lawyers, particularly of G. Grisez, J. Finnis and J. Boyle (with conviction the analysis is formally in line with conception of intention and doube-effect of Catholic moral tradition including Aquinas and encyclical Veritatis Splendor). Subsequently after the consultation with specialist, gynecologist-obstetrician, it generalizes the conclusion to all therapeutic abortions of vital-conflict type.