Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Systematic Theology

First Advisor

John Johnson

Scripture References in this Resource

John 16:12-13


The first chapter of this study examines the setting for Father Dulles's energetic work in the years immediately following Vatican Council II. With respect to the Church’s dogmatic formulations, it was apparent to Father Dulles that the Council tacitly proclaimed the end of irreformability. The Church's doctrinal statements must undergo reformulation in order to express adequately and communicate incisively the Christian faith to the world of the late twentieth century. Furthermore, his own epistemology, methodology, and theology did, in effect, shape his outlook regarding reformulation. These subjects are treated at length in chapter two, complemented by close attention to his revelation theology as a prime factor figuring prominently in the formation of his development theory. This is the content of chapter four which follows a discussion in chapter three of how church dogma fares following Vatican II when compared to typical dogmatic expressions of the former neo-Scholastic era, the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The intricacies of this comparison demonstrate the urgency for reformulation, if the Church is to honor its commitment to reach the post-modern world with the Gospel. These investigations lead to a final chapter marking the lengths to which Father Dulles extends his thinking about dogmatic development as reconceptualization and reformulation.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.