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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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The Rebirth of Apologetics

The Rebirth of Apologetics

March 2, 2004

(p.430) 31 The Rebirth of Apologetics
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses apologetics, the discipline of defending a religious position through the systematic use of reason. It looks into apologetics's task, its changing forms, its recent criticisms, and its revival. It holds that faith is the work of reason submitting to the word of God, which comes by way of revelation. The unpopularity of apologetics arose from its own excesses. Among many Christian thinkers, apologetics threatened to absorb almost the whole of theology. In some cases it tried to prove too much, claiming to demonstrate by cogent arguments not only the credibility but the truth of Christian revelation. In recent centuries, apologetics has concentrated mainly on how people get to God. In the act of Catholic faith, reliance on testimony goes out indivisibly to Christ and to the Church through which he continues his mission in the world.

Keywords:   testimony, apologetics, Christian revelation, reason, theology, personalism

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