The Task of Theology

In a speech to the International Theological Commission, Pope Benedict XVI explains:

The first priority of theology, as already indicated in its name, is to speak of God, to think of God. And theology speaks of God not as a hypothesis of our thought. It speaks of God because God himself speaks with us. The real work of the theologian is to enter into the Word of God, to seek to understand it for what is possible, and to make it understood to our world, and thus to find the responses to our important questions. In this work it also appears that faith is not only not contrary to reason, but it opens the eyes of reason, it expands our horizons and it permits us to find the responses necessary to the challenges of the various times.

From the objective point of view, the truth is the Revelation of God in Christ Jesus, who requires the response of the obedience of faith in communion with the Church and her Magisterium. Thus the identity of the theologian is regained, understood as a reasoned, systematic and methodical reflection on Revelation and on faith. Even the question of method is illuminated. The method in theology is not only the base of criteria and norms common to the other sciences, but must observe, above all, the principles and norms that derive from Revelation and from faith, from the fact that God has spoken. . . .

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