Current Issue 1/2023

In the new issue Verba Theologica (1/2023) can you find these studies:

Synodality and the “Synodal Process”: Challenges and Opportunities, from the Episcopal Collegiality of Vatican II to the Catholic Church of Today

Synodality is a signature pastoral initiative of Pope Francis. He has been implementing it more robustly not only on the level of the Synod of Bishops but has been promoting it on all levels of the church. This article discusses the current state of the theology of synodality, including its various challenges and opportunities.

Synodality Revives the Reception of the People of God Ecclesiology and the Theology of the Local Church
Martin MAĎAR

The promotion of synodality is the most significant pastoral initiative of Pope Francis. It focuses renewed attention on the reception of the Second Vatican Council. This article discusses how synodality gives new life to two aspects of the council’s ecclesiological vision, namely, the church as the people of God and the theology of the local church. They played a major role early in the council’s reception but were later sidelined. Synodality now brings them back to the center of attention.

Christological Profile of the Healing of Simon’s Mother in Law: A Comparison of Synoptic Reports

The three Synoptic Gospels narrate the story of Jesus’ healing of Simon’s motherin-law as part of their account of the beginnings of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. The focus of this article are the christological contours of the three variants, that is, differences in their portrayal of Jesus. To highlight the uniqueness of each evangelist in regard to the christological aspect of the story, the article employs a combination of lexical analysis, synoptic comparison, and semantic approach. It seeks to identify the significance of the changes made by Matthew and Luke vis-à-vis their Marcan counterpart, and sketch the christological profile of each evangelist.

Patoček‘s Late Philosophy in the Context of the Spiritual Crisis of Contemporary Society

In Patočka´s philosophy of history, especially in its late period, the concept of Europe, which is essentially linked to the ancient Greek idea of the care for the soul, hast its firm place. The idea of the care for the soul undergoes several metamorphoses during the history and after the disappearance of the ancient world it is according to Patočka carried further by Christianity, which is considered to be the highest rise of the human spirit after the previous decay of the ancient world. However, Patočka also speaks about the spiritual crisis of the humanity as such that in his opinion reaches its peak in the present time, in the technical and materialistic understanding of the world and in the modern and post-modern consumerism. While looking for the solutions of the current crisis, Patočka is inspired by Heidegger´s thinking, above all by the ontological difference – the difference between the Being and beings. An important phenomenon that can on an individual level become the remedy for overcoming the present materialistic. technical and strictly rational understanding of the world is for Patočka the sacrifice. The sacrifice can show the essential aspect of Being, which is much more that a sum of beings and can therefore be grasped as the philosophical expression of the divine, what Patočka clearly demonstrates at the figure of Jesus.

The Creature of Faith Is Full of Speech: The Challenge of Hermeneutics for Theological Anthropology
Zdenko ŠIRKA

This study focuses on the ways in which people live in speech and how speech becomes their home. It shows how through speech one expresses existential questions, how speech can grasp the search and finding of the good, the true, the beautiful, how speech formulates the question for God, how it asks for God’s name. At a deeper and more fundamental level, then, it traces speech as that which speaks to us, dealing with the relationship of speech and understanding, the possibilities of communication, dialogue, and, finally, how we can bear witness in speech to that which is inexpressible. The study takes inspiration from the ideas of (theological) hermeneutics, especially those of Hans-George Gadamer (1900–2002), which we use in the context of theological anthropology to show its relevance to how humans understand themselves and the world around them, how they understand God, and how they speak about themselves in relation to God.

Neuroscience, Freedom and Determinism: Thomas Aquinas in Dialogue with Contemporary Human Sciences
Peter Samuel LOVÁS

Is human freedom only an illusion and we are determined by all kinds of facts that exclude our freedom? According to some thinkers, the results of Benjamin Libet’s experiments seem to prove this. More effectively than any arguments of science, the existence of free human actions can be questioned by philosophical theses, above all by various doctrines of determinism. In an interdisciplinary dialogue, we will try to answer some postulates of the natural and human sciences with the arguments of Thomas Aquinas, according to which human will is ordered to the general good, which is what determines it. However, every particular good is limited and not good from some point of view. That is why our choice of a specific good is not determined. Reason frees our will from the necessity of always following some individual good, and keeps it open to the complete and universal good.

Religious Experience and Faith according to Romano Guardini

The study examines the role of religious experience and faith in human life. It draws primarily upon the thought of Romano Guardini. The aim is to find the reason why, despite the secularization efforts in recent decades, we observe a return to spirituality and to religious experience. The starting point is the human being and its constitutive openness to something transcendent, to the sacrum, which enables him to live a religious experience. Then the study pays attention to the sources, subject and object of religious experience. The last section deals with the status and importance of revelation and faith for human life.