So how is Catholic theology changing?
Let me offer an example by citing the first plenary session on the first full day of the gathering of the Catholic Theological Society of America.
First up was past CTSA president, Terrence W. Tilley, professor of Catholic Theology and chair of the department at Fordham University. He introduced the main speaker, Stephen J. Pope, professor of theology at Boston College, who gave an interesting talk about the importance of an emerging topic in theology, restorative justice. He was followed by Kristin E. Heyer, associate professor of theology at Santa Clara Universtiy, who gave an equally interesting response to Pope’s address, furthering the discussion and opening up and active discussion from the floor.
So what do Tilley, Pope and Heyer share as emerging U.S. theologians?
Well, each is married and each is a proud parent of two children.
These three theologians' writings come out of rich academic pursuits and lives as lay Catholics.
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Catholic theology and our church are distinctly served by lay theologians. At a time when any one of us can rattle off church inadequacies, it is great to be able to cite this important development. Catholic theology cannot help but change – and grow - as the ranks of those who do it change as well, especially changes which represent and enrich the wider Catholic experience.
Welcome to Catholicism in the 21st century.