McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
contextual theology, Development of Doctrine. Imagination, Paul Ricoeur
In the contemporary age of irreducible pluralism, it is a challenge to conceive of the development of doctrine in way that can truly appreciate and be responsive to the diversity that it entails and the postmodern intellectual paradigm that it necessitates. The position of this work is that the imagination provides the space in which a new model of doctrinal development can be formulated in response to such a challenge, one in which fidelity to the theological uniqueness of Christianity can be maintained but in which historicity and pluralism can be given fuller appreciation. Using Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy of the hermeneutical imagination to explain the reception of revelation and the development of doctrine allows that development to be understood in a more truly historical way while still keeping it rooted in a living and normative tradition attached to unique supernatural revelation. The thesis is that this imaginative theory of doctrinal development opens up the doctrinal tradition of Christianity to the contextuality and historicity constitutive of its present and past and accordingly requires the ongoing process of doctrinal development to honor the imaginative nature of how it has processed and defined and continues to process and define knowledge of revelation.
Montevecchio, C. (2016). An Imaginative Theory of Doctrinal Development: An Attempt to Open Western Traditions to Contextual Faith (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/48