Synopses & Reviews
There is currently no shared language of vocation among Catholics in the developed, post-modern world of Europe and North America. The decline in practice of the faith and a weakened understanding of Church teaching has led to reduced numbers of people entering into marriage, religious life and priesthood.
Uniquely, this book traces the development of vocation from scriptural, patristic roots through Thomism and the Reformation to engage with the modern vocational crisis. How are these two approaches compatible? The universal call to holiness is expressed in Lumen Gentium has been read by some as meaning that any vocational choice has the same value as any other such choice; is some sense of a higher calling part of the Catholic theology of vocation or not? Some claim that the single life is a vocation on a par with marriage and religious life; what kind of a theology of vocation leads to that conclusion? And is the secular use of the word ‘vocation' to describe certain profession helpful or misleading in the context of Catholic theology?
This book traces the development of vocation from scriptural, patristic roots through Thomism and the Reformation to engage with the modern vocational crisis. How are these approaches compatible? Is some sense of a higher calling part of the Catholic theology of vocation or not? Jamison explores this neglected yet vital aspect of Church life.
About the Author
Fr Christopher Jamison, OSB, is Director of the National Office for Vocation, London, UK. He has written Finding Sanctuary; Finding Happiness [Orion] and writes a monthly column in The Tablet and does Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show
Table of Contents
Introduction \ Part 1: The History of the Theology of Vocation \ SCRIPTURAL. What theologies of vocation are to be found in the Bible? Rev Dr John Hemer \ MONASTIC. Did the desert fathers and mothers think they had what today we call a vocation? Rev Prof Richard Price \ THOMIST. ‘The will to enter religious life does not need to be tested to see whether it is from God' (ST II-II 189:10): Can Aquinas' understanding of vocation still work? Rev Joseph Bolin \ IGNATIAN. What is the special contribution of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius to vocation discernment? Sr Dr Gemma Simmonds \ REFORMATION. How did the Reformation develop the theology of vocation? Rev Dr David Hoyle \ MODERN CATHOLIC. ‘The Irreducible Particularity of Christ' - Hans Urs von Balthasar and a Theology of Vocation. Sr Dr Gill Goulding, CJ \ Part 2: A Contemporary Theology of Vocation \ THE VOCATION OF THE CHURCH: ‘The Sign We Give' - An Ecclesiology of Mission, Ministry, and Vocation. Rev Prof Richard Lennan \ ECCLESIAL VOCATIONS. Within the universal call to holiness, what is distinctive about vocations to the priesthood and the religious life? Sr Cathy Jones,ra \ MARITAL STATUS. How are marriage and the single life to be understood as vocations? How are they connected to the clerical state? Rev Yuriy Kolasa \ Part 3: A Contemporary Theology of Vocation \ THE PSYCHOLOGY OF VOCATION: How is the call of Christ heard today? Dr Peter Tyler \ THE CHURCH AND DISCERNMENT: What does the Church need to do to become a place of discernment for all? Rt Rev Christopher Jamison, OSB \ Bibliography \ Index