Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Roger Haight; Jesus. Symbol of God [Theologie, Wichtig!]


haightjesus
Originally uploaded by mimax.
Wichtige Links und Informationen zu Roger Haight in den Kommentaren!

Ein erster Link:

http://ivv7srv15.uni-muenster.de/dogmenge/linkshaight.htm

15 comments:

Esther said...

Hallo, ich habe eine Information zu Roger Haights Status als Professor gefunden:

Rausgeflogen

USA. Die Glaubenskongregation untersagt dem US-amerikanischen Dogmatiker P. Roger Haight SJ zu unterrichten. Dies berichtete die Nachrichtenagentur der US-amerikanischen Bischofskonferenz. Nach fünf intensiven Jahren der Prüfung hat der Vatikan in Haights Buch „Jesus, Symbol Gottes“ von 1999 „ernsthafte Lehrirrtümer“ festgestellt. In seinem Werk leugne Pater Haight die Gottheit Christi, seine Auferstehung und seine einzigartige Mittlerschaft, ebenso die Dreifaltigkeit des einen Gottes. Deshalb sei dem Autor die Lehrbefugnis solange entzogen, bis er seine Ansichten ändere. Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger unterzeichnete eine entsprechende Notifikation zum Buch. Das Schreiben ist in der italienischen Ausgabe des „L’Osservatore Romano“ vom 7./8. Februar veröffentlicht.

aus: www.kreuz.net/article.647.html, 21. Juni 2005

Viele Grüße
Esther

Frank said...

Jesuit Roger Haight's Book Has "Grave Doctrinal Errors"
Author of "Jesus: Symbol of God" Barred From Teaching Catholic Theology

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 8, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See published a Notification on the book "Jesus: Symbol of God," warning that it makes affirmations that are contrary to a core doctrine, the divinity of Christ.



The 1999 book was written by Father Roger Haight, an American Jesuit and professor of systematic theology at the Weston School of Theology, in Massachusetts. It was published by Maryknoll: Orbis Books.



In the wake of a Vatican analysis of the book, the Notification states that the work has "grave doctrinal errors against the divine and Catholic faith of the Church."



"As a consequence, the author is prohibited from teaching Catholic theology as long as his positions are not rectified so as to be in full conformity with the doctrine of the Church," it states.



The Vatican notification, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect and secretary, respectively, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, appears in the Feb. 7-8 Italian edition of L'Osservatore Romano.



The Vatican has engaged in dialogue with the author since Feb. 14, 2000, to point out the errors found in the work and to request that he himself explain them, the Notification states.



After several answers from the book's author, the last handed in on Jan. 7, 2004, the doctrinal congregation's ordinary session last May 5 stated that the book has affirmations that deny fundamental issues of Christianity.



Specifically, according to the Notification, Father Haight makes affirmations contrary to "the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, the salvific value of Jesus' death, the uniqueness and universality of the salvific mediation of Jesus and of the Church, and the resurrection of Jesus."



According to the Vatican study, the theologian came to these conclusions by basing himself on "an improper theological method."



Father Haight believes that "the Tradition must be critically received in today's situation," characterized by a pluralist context, the study said.



Citing quotations from the book, the doctrinal congregation said that the author maintains that because of today's pluralistic awareness, "one cannot still continue to affirm [...] that Christianity is the superior religion or that Christ is the absolute center in relation to which all the other historical mediations are relative."



"In postmodern culture it is impossible to think [...] that a religion can pretend to be the center to which all the others must be led back," adds Father Haight.



Regarding the value of the dogmatic formulas, especially those related to Christ, the author affirms that they are not neglected, but neither are they acritically repeated, because "in our culture they do not have the same meaning they did when they were elaborated."



"Therefore, one must refer to the classical Councils and also interpret them explicitly for our present" time, writes the theologian.



"The author's interpretation turns out to be, instead, not only a different reading but contrary to the true meaning of the dogmas," states the doctrinal congregation.



The Notification is posted in the Web page of ZENIT's Italian edition.

Holger said...

Haight silencing feeds theologians’ fears
By MARGOT PATTERSON
NCR Staff

Reports that Jesuit Fr. Roger Haight, a professor of systematic theology at Weston Jesuit [School of Theology], has been barred from teaching while the Vatican scrutinizes his views made headlines recently around the country. Haight, in fact, has been on leave from teaching at Weston for the entire academic year, while he responds to questions about his newest book.

The investigation was prompted by Haight’s book, Jesus, Symbol of God. Winner of the top prize in theology from the Catholic Press Association, it was published in 1999 by Orbis Books.

The Vatican’s criticism turns on Haight’s attempts to separate Christology from Greek philosophical concepts, on which many of the traditional doctrines on the role and nature of Christ depend. Specifically, the problems relate to formulation of the mystery of the Trinity, an interpretation of Christ’s divinity and the role of Jesus in salvation.

The investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was reported in the Aug. 11, 2000, issue of NCR, but did not gain wide publicity until an article appeared a week ago in the April 24 issue of The Boston Globe.

In response to the recent news reports, Jesuit Fr. Robert Manning, Weston’s president, released a written statement saying Haight was on leave at the request of Archbishop Zenon Grocholewski of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Haight has not responded to inquiries from the press. In July, he told NCR, “I want to handle this like Jacques Dupuis did and not comment.”

Dupuis is a Jesuit who taught at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome until the fall of 1998, when he came under Vatican investigation for his book Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism. Dupuis was later cleared.

Franciscan Fr. Kenneth Himes, a professor at Washington Theological Union and president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, said he found the sudden storm of publicity about Haight’s silencing to be curious, given that the Vatican intervention had happened months before. The silencing is unfortunate, he said, because it is “a preemptive strike that short circuits the give and take of theological conversation.”

“Roger Haight is a well-respected theologian among his peers,” Himes said. “When he writes something, it gets noticed. That is what was happening to his book. It was being read. It was being commented on. But many people were expressing some substantive disagreements with the book. The reviews were saying this was a fine work, but he was not getting unqualified support.” The Vatican’s move, he said, is causing both supporters and critics of the book to draw back from further discussion of it.

“I accept as a church we have a teaching office,” Himes said. “The question is how it should operate. The Vatican should intervene in this directly only when they see a position that is being held persistently, which is clearly erroneous and which is clearly undercutting the unity of the church position. I don’t see this as happening here. This was not a popular book. The Vatican jumped in when there was no need to.”

Himes said the Haight case is not directly related to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the 1990 papal document, or its requirement that theologians seek a mandatum, or approval, from their bishop. The document calls for Catholic universities to strengthen Catholic identity. However, the intervention makes upcoming discussions of the Ex Corde Ecclesiae more difficult, Himes said.

The Haight investigation “is precisely the sort of thing that will make theologians very nervous about the mandatam,” Himes said. “It only adds more worries and concerns. This kind of thing thrown into that mix only makes the atmosphere more tense and makes people more worried.”

Because it is a fully accredited graduate school of theology with a pontifical faculty, Weston Jesuit Theological School is governed both by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Vatican.

Fr. Jose de Vera, spokesman for the Jesuits in Rome, said that in February 2000 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked the Congregation for Catholic Education to intervene to prevent Haight from teaching while a scrutiny of his work was underway. The Congregation for Catholic Education grants teaching permission to teachers in pontifical institutes.

The clarifications Haight provided at that time were judged unsatisfactory by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and in January 2001 the congregation proceeded to a formal investigation.


Laut anderer Quellen wurde die Lehrbefugnis 2005 erst entzogen!

Gute Besserung

Holger

Holger said...

[b]Hier ist noch ein Statement seiner Kollegen:[/b]

Statement of the Board of Directors,
The Catholic Theological Society of America

With Respect to the Notification Issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning the book, Jesus: Symbol of God, by Rev. Roger Haight, S.J. and Prohibiting Fr. Haight from Teaching Catholic Theology


As members of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America, we wish to express our profound distress at the actions taken by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against the Rev. Roger Haight, S.J., a former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America. As Fr. Haight’s colleagues, we wish to publicly affirm that he is a person of the highest character as well as a respected theologian and teacher who pursues his theological vocation as a service to the Church.

We fully affirm the ecclesial responsibilities of the theologian and the intrinsically ecclesial character of theology as these have been articulated in the “Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian,” issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1990. We likewise affirm the responsibility of the Magisterium to make authoritative judgments concerning theological conformity to Catholic doctrine.

As Catholic theologians, we acknowledge our collective responsibility to engage each other critically in the light of divine revelation as this has been defined by the Magisterium. We encourage this process of mutual correction, which is the ordinary way in which theological arguments are evaluated, clarified, corrected, and, if necessary, rejected.

Fr. Haight’s book Jesus: Symbol of God has done a great service in framing crucial questions that need to be addressed today. He has welcomed critique and dialogue about his own work. Since the time that his book appeared, the theological community has been in the process of engaging in a lively debate over the strengths and weaknesses of his speculative proposals. Indeed, an open forum on Fr. Haight's book was held at the Catholic Theological Society's Annual Convention in 2002, where he willingly and graciously explained his views and responded to his colleagues' critical observations. In many ways, the theological community has been engaging in precisely the kind of internal debate and mutual correction that has been encouraged by the Magisterium. Ironically, rather than promote greater criticism of the book, the Congregation’s intervention will most likely discourage debates over the book, effectively stifling further criticism and undermining our ability as Catholic theologians to openly critique our colleagues. In short, the Congregation’s intervention in this case gravely threatens the very process of serious, systematic, internal criticism which the Congregation and the bishops have long been encouraging among theologians. While this process of internal critique can never replace the proper teaching and disciplinary roles of the Magisterium, the intervention of the Magisterium should be a last resort, reserved for situations where this process has clearly failed.

We seriously question, moreover, whether the procedures established for investigating a theologian's work--as articulated in the 1997 “Regulations for the Examination of Doctrine” from the Congregation--do in fact afford a theologian an adequate "opportunity to clear up possible misunderstandings of his or her thought" as the 1990 Instruction requires. Moreover, we note that the Instruction states that any official judgment that is rendered by the Magisterium concerns not the person of the theologian, but only his or her publicly espoused intellectual positions (#37). Thus we are dismayed that the action taken regarding Fr. Haight moves beyond a judgment on some of his theological positions to the prohibition from teaching Catholic theology. This act unavoidably implies a negative judgment upon a theologian's personal integrity and responsibility.

We must also call attention to the important distinction between theology and catechesis as this was articulated in the Holy Father’s 1979 Apostolic Exhortation, “ Catechesi Tradendae.” In that document, the Holy Father reminds us of the intrinsic relationship between theology and catechesis while, at the same time, warning against the danger that catechesis will “transform itself into theological research or scientific exegesis” (#21)—and, presumably, the danger that the reverse will also occur. Of its nature, theology has a speculative dimension. This is recognized in the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, which affirms that:

Bishops should encourage the creative work of theologians. They serve the Church through research done in a way that respects theological method. They seek to understand better, further develop and more effectively communicate the meaning of Christian Revelation as transmitted in Scripture and Tradition and in the Church's Magisterium. They also investigate the ways in which theology can shed light on specific questions raised by contemporary culture (#29).

Given the actions taken against Fr. Haight, we are concerned that the Congregation’s Notification elides the traditional distinction between theology and catechesis in a way that threatens the proper function of both in their service to the Church. We thus express our concern for the ramifications that this action may have for the future of the Catholic theological vocation.

Signed,

Roberto S. Goizueta, Ph.D.
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA
President

Mary Catherine Hilkert, O.P., Ph.D.
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN
President-Elect

Daniel Finn, Ph.D.
St. John's University
Collegeville, MN
Vice President

M. Theresa Moser, R.S.C.J., Ph.D.
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Secretary

Roger McGrath, Ph.D.
Somerdale, NJ
Treasurer

M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D.
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA
Past President

Mary E. Hines, Ph.D.
Emmanuel College
Boston, MA

Leo Lefebure, Ph.D.
Fordham University
Bronx, NY

Bryan Massingale, S.T.D.
Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI

John Thiel, Ph.D.
Fairfield University
Fairfield, CT

Alex said...

Jesus als Symbol?

Eine vom amerikanischen Jesuiten Roger Haight erstellte christologische Studie (Juesus. Symbol of God) hat in jüngster Zeit die Diskussion über die Bedeutung Jesu auf symboltheoretischer Ebene angeregt. Haights christologischer Ansatz wird wesentlich von zwei Grundanliegen bestimmt. Zum einen sieht er die Notwendigkeit für zeitgenössische Theologie, sich den vielfältigen Herausforderungen der (von ihm in einem eigenen Kapitel begrifflich erläuterten) „Postmoderne“ zu stellen. Zum anderen versteht er Theologie als christologisch verankerte Soteriologie, die ihre entscheidende historische und theologische Grundlage im ntl. bezeugten Jesus von Nazareth findet. Die gegenseitige Vermittlung beider Grundanliegen – ein häufig geäußertes Desiderat – entfaltet er im laufe seines Buches.

Aus: WAGNER, Harald: Dogmatik. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2003.
S. 210-219.

Frauke said...

Hallo, ich habe eine Diskussion mit ihm gefunden.
Pluralism conference report; A conversation with Fr. Roger Haight; The Sant'Egidio conference; Slovakia preview
By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

Hier ein kurzer Ausschnitt
Alles findet man unter der Adresse, die unten angegeben ist.

Sources in Rome say that Haight was notified of a review of his work by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2000, and shortly thereafter the Congregation for Catholic Education ordered him suspended from the Jesuit-run Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Haight is currently on a sabbatical year at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University).

Haight responded to a critique from the CDF of his 2000 book Jesus Symbol of God (Orbis). Meantime theological debate over the book continues in the Catholic world. Some find it an exciting new Christological approach, while others feel that in trying to make room for the pluralist hypothesis Haight goes too far in jettisoning or reinterpreting core doctrines.

While the CDF has given no public hint of how things will fall out, most observers expect a strong intervention. In February 2001 the Vatican issued a stern notification warning of eight "ambiguities" in the 1997 book Toward a Theology of Religious Pluralism by Belgian Jesuit Fr. Jacques Dupuis, whose inclusivist position is considerably more moderate than Haight’s.

I had the chance in Birmingham to sit down with Haight, awaiting the final outcome of the Vatican review of his work. Does Haight believe that Catholicism will ever come around to his view?

"I have no expectation that pluralism will become the official understanding of the Roman Catholic church," Haight said. "What I’m trying to do is carve out space for it to be accepted as an orthodox Catholic view, even if it’s a minority position."

In other words, Haight hopes that the inclusivist/pluralist debate can be like the 16th century argument between the Jesuits and the Dominicans over grace — two views that can both be accommodated within the bounds of orthodoxy.

Does he see evidence of movement in that direction?

“I think of the Modernist crisis in the early 20th century, when so many things were declared unacceptable that later were approved at Vatican II,” Haight said.

I flippantly asked if that made him George Tyrell, the English Jesuit who was considered one of the fathers of modernism, but Haight rightly waved it off as a loaded question.

“I also look at American Catholicism on the ground, with a Catholic population more and more educated in the faith,” Haight continued. “We have an extremely polarized right and left, and a great body in the middle. Many, for example college and university students, are used to pluralism, and are asking how they can square it with the Catholic faith.

“I try to put critical words on their experience, and keep this experience in touch with the tradition,” Haight said. “Very few reflective young Catholics aren’t asking questions about other religions.”

I asked Haight if he could see any value in the concerns expressed by the Vatican.

“They’re saying that one has to attend to the tradition, to the community,” he said. “I try to do that in what I write. I proceed very, very carefully and responsibly to address issues that cannot go unaddressed.”

Haight insisted that this work is a service to the Church.

“My fear is that educated Catholics will walk if there isn’t space for an open attitude to other religions,” he said.

In the end, Haight believes, the kind of inclusivism represented by Dupuis doesn’t do the trick.

“It’s not finally open to the other religions, because it postulates the superiority of Christianity,” he said. “It doesn’t allow God to do God’s will in the other religions autonomously, apart from Jesus of Nazareth.”

from: http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/word091203.htm

Frauke said...

Hallo.
Hat wohl nicht ganz geklappt, hier nochmal die ganze Adresse

http://www.nationalcatholic
reporter.org/word/word091203.htm

Christoph said...

...habe leider keine neueren Erkenntnisse aus dem Netz in Erfahrung bringen können, fand auch nur Holgers Eintrag vom National Catholic Reporter...
MFG, Christoph

Katrin und Mareike said...

aus: Jesus: Symbol des Gottes.- Buch- Buchberichte, Löwe,D. Lefebure, Professor an der Universität Fordham

Ziel Haigts ist ein "ecunmenial inculturation" des christlichen Glaubens in einer postmodernen Welt, die mit historischem Bewusstsein gesättigt wird und von kulturellem und frommen Pluralismus ist.
Haiht nähert sich der Christologie "von unterhalb", angefangen mit Jesus von Nazarth als menschlicher Abbildung.

Haigt dieht Glauben als "Univeraslform der menschlichen Erfahrung".

Er ignoriert die zeitgenössischen Repräsentanten der Kirchen, die nicht die Räte von Ephesus oder Chalkedon und der orientalischen orthodoxen Kirchen annahmen.

Lioba said...

Rome targets another Jesuit
By GERALD RENNER
Special to the National Catholic Reporter
In its latest attempt to rein in theologians who hint that Jesus of Nazareth is not the exclusive path to God, the Vatican is investigating Jesuit Fr. Roger Haight, a priest of the Weston Jesuit community in Cambridge, Mass.
Haight confirmed rumors that an investigation is under way, but said he had been asked by church officials to refrain from commenting about it.
Haight is the author of Jesus, Symbol of God, a book published last year by Orbis Press. The book has drawn high praise from many theologians for the way the author avoids discussing Jesus in traditional dogmatic formulas, but rather presents an interpretation of Jesus in modern terms. It was a selection of the Catholic Book Club, operated by America Press.
Regarding the investigation, Haight said in a brief telephone interview July 19 from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, the graduate theology school where he teaches, “I want to handle this like Jacques Dupuis did and not comment.”

(...)
Haight, like Dupuis, argues that while Jesus is “normative” for salvation for Christians, other world religions may also offer ways to God and salvation.
That Haight is a target of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith comes as no surprise, even to his most ardent supporters who had expected a challenge almost from the moment his book was published.(...)

http://natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2000c/081100/081100e.htm


Rome, 8 February 2005 (NCR) - In a strongly worded "notification," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal agency, has denounced the book Jesus: Symbol of God by Jesuit Fr. Roger Haight as containing "grave doctrinal errors against the divine and Catholic doctrine of the church." In consequence, Haight, an American, has been prohibited from teaching Catholic theology "until his positions have been corrected so as to be in full conformity with the doctrine of the church." The news was posted on the National Catholic Reporter website by Vatican-watcher John Allen.

http://www.jesuits-europe.org/ns/news.htm#050208


CONGRÉGATION POUR LA DOCTRINE DE LA FOI
NOTIFICATION SUR LE LIVRE
JESUS SYMBOL OF GOD
DU PÈRE ROGER HAIGHT, S.J.
Introduction
La Congrégation pour la Doctrine de la Foi, après un examen attentif, a jugé que le livre Jesus Symbol of God (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1999) du Père Roger Haight, s.j., contient de graves erreurs doctrinales concernant certaines vérités fondamentales de la foi. Il a donc été décidé de publier à ce sujet cette Notification, qui conclut la procédure d'examen le concernant.
(...)
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20041213_notification-fr-haight_fr.html

Sandra said...

Zu Roger Haights Theologie und seinen Status als Professor habe ich folgendes erarbeitet:

Zum Status:
Im Februar 2005 untersagt ihm die Glaubenskongregation zu unterrichten. Fünf Jahre prüfte sie sein Buch: "Jesus Symbol of God". Sie fanden "ernsthafte Lehrirrtümer": Haight leugnet die Gottheit Christi, seine Auferstehung und einzigartige Mittlerschaft, sowie die Dreifaltigkeit des einen Gottes. Die Lehrbefugnis bleibt so lange entzogen, bis er seine Ansichten ändert.

Zur Theologie:
Haight versteht die Theologie als symbolische Disziplin, die eine zeitgemäße Interpretation erfordert. Die Sprache der Bibel, des Johannesprologs sollte mythologisch, poetisch verstanden werden und nicht als Faktenmitteilung oder wörtliche Interpretation. Die unterschiedlichen Situationen damals und der je aktuellen Zeit müssen bedacht werden. So ergeben sich immer wieder neue Fragen, auf die es neue Antworten geben muss. Deshalb gibt es für ihn keine zeitlos gültige Christologie. Jesus ist für Haight historische Vermittlung Gottes, steht also immer in Verbindung zu Jesus von Nazareth. Christologie muss vom Menschen Jesus ausgehen und in seiner Menschlichkeit das finden, was es erlaubt ihn göttlich zu nennen. Der Glaube der Menschen ist nämlich durch die Identifikation mit Jesus stark geprägt, weshalb er nur eine Christologie von unten für heute gültig hält.

Er sieht Jesus als Symbol Gottes. Ein Symbol ist unterschiedlich von dem was es symbolisiert. Also ist Jesus für ihn nicht Gott. Gott könnte lediglich in diesem Symbol anwesend sein.

Haight ist Befürworter des Pluralismus. Die Vielfalt religiöser Ausdrucksformen sieht er als ein positives Phänomen. Eine gleichwertige Anerkennung sollte nicht als Bedrohung gesehen werden. Andere Normen können zusätzlich gelten, wenn sie dem christlichen nicht widersprechen. Für ihn wird die Offenbarung Gottes
in Jesus nicht geschwächt, wenn Gott sich auch in anderen Mittlern offenbart. Gottes Liebe ist nicht auf Jesus beschränkt, sie war auch schon vorher wirksam.
Religionen sind für Haight Gott gewollt, sofern sie Wege sind, auf denen sich Gottes Anwesenheit vermittelt. Die christliche Gotteserfahrung wird durch Gottes Wirken in anderen Religionen gestärkt.
Laut Haight sollte die Gesamtheit religiöser Erfahrung zur Grundlage theologischer Überlegungen werden.

Mareike said...

Roger Haidt ist amerikanischer Priester und war bis zum 08.02.2005 Professor für systematische Theologie an der Weston Jesuit Community in Cambridge, Massachusetts, als ihm von der Glaubenskongregation die Lehrerlaubnis entzogen wurde. Dieses Verbot zu unterrichten werde solange aufrechterhalten, bis er seine geäußerten Meinungen und Ansichten widerrufe, die er in seinemBuch "Jesus - Symbol of God" 1999 veröffentlichte, bemerkten die Mitglieder der Kongregation. In dem Buch vertritt Haidt die Meinung, dass Jesus nur Symbol Gottes sei und bestreitet die "Gottheit" Jesus, damit einhergehend die Dreifaltigkeit Gottes, die Auferstehung Jesus, ...

Britta said...

After publishing Jesus: Symbol of God in 1999, Roger Haight, a United States Jesuit, has been suspended from teaching while his case is investigated by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The event poses two questions: the first about Haight’s theology, and the second about the procedures instituted against him. Jesus: Symbol of God is a comprehensive treatment of the significance of Jesus Christ, offering sustained reflection on theological method. The book is clearly written and argued, and reveals Haight to be a good and genial teacher.

As the title suggests, Haight describes Jesus Christ as the symbol through which Christians find God. Haight argues that we cannot know God directly, but only through the objects of our experience which function as symbols. So, his discussion of Jesus Christ concentrates on those aspects of Jesus Christ which we can experience and on the qualities of our experience. Haight also accentuates the difference between our experience and the ways in which we think and speak about it. Our words will always be provisional and shaped by our historical and cultural context. His theological interest is to reflect on Jesus Christ within the cultural categories of our day.

The aspects of contemporary culture that most engage Haight are those identified with postmodernism, and particularly the pluralism which is instinctive to it. It is axiomatic for Haight in his engagement with postmodernist culture that no single approach to reality will be uniquely privileged.

Together, these emphases lead Haight to make a strong separation between what can be known historically of Jesus Christ and the way we respond to him, on the one hand, and the mystery of God and God’s action on the other. So, in treating the Resurrection, he grounds the belief in Jesus Christ’s life and the impact that he made on the disciples, to the extent that they discovered the living God in remembering him. He hesitates to describe the Resurrection as God’s action in raising Jesus. This kind of analysis needs to deal with the tradition that speaks of Jesus’ words and actions as those of the Son of God. Haight registers such a description as one among many strands of New Testament interpretation, and locates it in a limited historical culture. He understands that doctrines, such as the divinity of the Jesus Christ and the Trinity, illuminate the nature, not of Jesus Christ or of God, but of our access to God through Jesus Christ. Thus, when we say that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man, we mean that it is really God whom we reach in Jesus Christ, and that it is through the truly human Jesus that we find God.

What is to be said of Haight’s argument? There is much to admire: his modesty in speaking about God and his respect for the poetry of faith. But ultimately, in my judgment, his method dissolves what is distinctive and powerful in Christian faith: the conviction that God has joined our world in an extraordinary way. This conviction finds expression in paradox: that God has shared our suffering and misery and that we are taken into God’s life. Such paradoxical convictions do not easily find reasonable explanation, but they resist easy resolutions that keep God and Jesus in their separate compartments. They also insist that in Jesus Christ we know God, and therefore that Trinitarian language says something more about God than the formal and faceless figure which Haight’s method leaves to us. For all the writer’s geniality and genuine devotion, this method which makes strong divisions between the human Jesus, God and doctrine, is a dead end because it sucks Christian faith dry of its distinctive energies.

I am not convinced, however, that the procedures directed against Haight are appropriate. While I take for granted that in the church we have the responsibility to ensure that faith is proclaimed and communicated in its integrity, I wonder if suspension from teaching and shaming within the church community are necessary or justifiable ways of exercising this responsibility.

Those who support such treatment argue that theologians have always been disciplined by the church, and that strong discipline is necessary if the church is to remain faithful and ordered. They say that it is right, therefore, for errant theologians to be pursued, shamed, and withdrawn from positions of influence.

Within the contemporary church, however, so much is published and it is received so critically, that prompt local scholarly and pastoral response to books which cause concern can normally be trusted to vindicate faith. Books from 1999 are 2000 land-fill, unless popular interest in them is fanned by controversy. Drawn-out attacks on their writers usually disseminates their ideas.

Nor am I persuaded by the argument that without punitive discipline the faith and order of the church will be threatened. This case has also been argued for jailing adolescents, beating schoolchildren and putting villagers in the stocks. In those contexts, the practices themselves seemed to foster a climate of control in which any order based on trust seemed inconceivable. People were genuinely surprised that schools could be orderly without strap or cane. Might not the same be true of the church?

Andrew Hamilton SJ teaches at the United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne.

Jesus: Symbol of God, Roger Haight, New York, Orbis, 1999. ISBN 1 57075 247 8, RRP $55

aus: http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/pages/099/099hamilton.htm

Anonymous said...

American Jesuit Roger Haight barred from teaching Catholic theology

Rome, 8 February 2005 (NCR) - In a strongly worded "notification," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal agency, has denounced the book Jesus: Symbol of God by Jesuit Fr. Roger Haight as containing "grave doctrinal errors against the divine and Catholic doctrine of the church." In consequence, Haight, an American, has been prohibited from teaching Catholic theology "until his positions have been corrected so as to be in full conformity with the doctrine of the church." The news was posted on the National Catholic Reporter website by Vatican-watcher John Allen.

Haight was notified of a review of his work by the CDF in 2000, and shortly thereafter the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education ordered him suspended from the Jesuit-run Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. Currently he is teaching as adjunct professor at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. Haight has described Jesus: Symbol of God as an attempt to express traditional doctrines about Christ and salvation in a language appropriate to post-modern culture. Some reviewers have found it an exciting new Christological approach, while others feel that Haight goes too far in jettisoning or reinterpreting core doctrines.

Though the notification asserts that Haight's book contains "grave doctrinal errors," it does not use the word "heresy." It also does not prevent Haight from publishing. Because Haight is currently at a non-Catholic institution, the teaching prohibition in the "notification" is expected to have little practical effect.

Matthias said...

Neues gefunden habe ich ebenfals nicht, hier nur eine kurze Zusammenfassung:

Roger Haight:

Roger Haights ist ein Amerikanischer Dogmatiker, der nach Ansicht der Bischofskonferenz die Gottheit Christi sowie seine Auferstehung und seine einzigartige Mittlerschaft, sowei die Dreifaltikkeit des einen Gottes leugnet.

Dies findet sich in dem Buch „Jesus, Symbol Gottes 1999“

Folglich wurde ihm die Lehrbefugnis entzogen.