Introduction to Theology Thomas P. Rausch, editor This book is ecumenical in its approach and reflects the pluralism of contemporary theology in the different viewpoints of its contributors.
"Symbol is an externally perceived sign that works mysteriously on the human consciousness so as to suggest more than it can clearly describe or define." Avery Dulles, 'Models of Revelation'
"As God freely chooes to create, so humans govern themselves by their own deliberate choice."
"Scholastic theologians…tried to express in a reasonable way the unity of all reality grasped by the human intellect."
"Everything that exists is, at least potentially, sacramental. Because God is mirrored in the world, all human life, activity, and speech, as well as events and history, are capable of disclosing the presence and action of God whose very nature is to express and communicate love in an through the world."
"Their nature [humanity] has instilled in it the appetite and the desire for every kind of good, and the will to cultivate goodness and justice. For this, we say, is the way humans were made in God's image and likeness, inasmuch as the human animal is naturally good and just." Cyril (ca. 380-444), father of the church
"Symbol is a rich and complex reality."
"When new religions begin, they do not really invent new terms or ideas ex nihilo, out of nothing. Instead they typically borrow from other religions and from the culture around them, editing, adding, synthesizing ideas, and adjusting language until new creative insights emerge clearly."
"Humans are inclined to do good."
"The goal of faith is to lead the believer to a personal self-transforming experience of God's unconditional love."
"Because the reality of God is mirrored in the world, all human life, activity, events and history, as well as nonhuman life, constitute the arena wherein God's presence may be discerned. God's grace, the presence and activity of God and the transformation of life which this brings about, is loose in the world."
"The Catholic tradition does not think the self can be described adequately without reference to God…..The self continually exhibits signs that it has a transcendent dimension. Its consciousness is one powerful sign. The self continues to expand its own consciousness by questioning the world and itself. In Augustine's words, the human heart is restless. Another sign of transcendence is that the individual self hopes in the future, against all odds, and keeps striving for it."
"One's character is a matter of self-determination. It is a matter of the form that the person gives to his or her attributes of both nature and nurture."