McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Catholic evangelization, Narrative, New evangelism, New evangelization, Ricoeur, Year of faith
The New Evangelism, a term popularized by Paul VI and a primary concern of John Paul II, articulates the Catholic Church's reply to the appeal of the Council Fathers for renewed gospel proclamation in the modern age. Theology observes copious permutations of the New Evangelism, and these competing narratives cover a variety of perspectives. My project explores the question of the New Evangelism's meaning within United States Catholicism amidst its various interpretations by applying Paul Ricoeur's theory of narrative to this multiplicity of configurations. Ricoeur's theory actually anticipated the contemporary situation: as new interpretations challenged sedimentation, multiple reconfigurations of the Church's call to proclaim were the inevitable result, in light of story's power upon human imagination. In the reciprocal dialectic between historical consciousness and personal identity, story informs each and is informed by each--an epistemological circle which allows for multiple reconfigurations when narratives engage imagination. My application of Ricoeur's theory will indicate that theology is not about the New Evangelism so much as it is about New Evangelisms, and that the Church may embrace a breathing room for multiple voices without losing herself to the vacuum of relativism nor to the suffocation of autocracy.
Murphy, I. (2013). Narrative, Context, and Conversion: An Application of Paul Ricoeur's Theory of Narrative to the New Catholic Evangelization in the Postconciliar United States (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/963