Item description for Das Patristische Prinzip: Eine Studie Zur Theologischen Bedeutung Der Kirchenvater (Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements, 58) (German Edition) by Andreas Merkt...
The "patristic principle" demands that theological quarrels be settled by resorting to the church fathers. This volume presents a comprehensive reflection on the historical evolution of the present crisis of this ancient theological principle. Focusing on the theory of the consensus quinquesaecularis, the author surveys the development of patristic authority from the 16th to the 20th centuries and relates it to other problems of the Church in modern times such as the crisis of tradition, the conflict between ecclesiastical authority and academic theology, and ecumenism. The concluding chapter tackles the question whether a renewal of the patristic principle is possible and feasible today.
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Ancient Consensus Reexamined Jul 18, 2008
Merkt does a very fine job of exploring the potential applicability of the alleged consensus of the undivided Catholic Church of the first five hundred years. His case study is the German theologian Georg Calixt, an ecumenical thinker who lived during the madness of the Thirty Years War. Calixt sought religious toleration, if not reunification, on the basis of what was common to the entire Christian Church before it splintered into East and West, Protestant and Catholic. Calixt's quest proves quixotic and did not stand the test of time, but it is still worth reading about. Those interested in the church fathers or ecumenism will appreciate this work.