Complete 5 pages APA formatted article: Gaudium et Spes. As Ned O’Gorman (1965) effectively described the event magnitude of Gaudium et Spes – two thousand five hundred bishops, two hundred theologians, thirty-five representatives from non-Catholic and Christian churches and communities, ninety-three observers from non-Roman churches and over a million on-lookers rediscovered Christianity as a dynamic event.
There is no question that Catholic theology since Vatican II has embraced a new level of engagement with the world, guided in large part by the document which served as the Magna Charta of this new movement: Gaudium et Spes. From the critical perspective, one may regard Gaudium et Spes as essentially humane and human-centered document, which says, “The intellectual nature of the human person is perfected by wisdom and needs to be, for wisdom gently attracts the mind of man to a quest and a love for what is true and good” (Gaudium et Spes, par.15). The document embraced a new level of engagement with the world, and spoke of the world less as an arena of sin and evil and more as the stage for God’s grace at work. As Yves Congar (1967-69) has pointed out, this new theology of church and world subsumed and altered the historical debates about church and state, church and society by moving the question “from the juridical and political plane to the anthropological plane” (p. 208). Practically, Gaudium et Spes marked a dramatic shift in church-world theology in the Catholic Church, away from the fortress mentality which had characterized the Catholic Church.
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